U2U & Privacy (PMs)

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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
It has been brought up on various occasions, mostly from guilty parties or disgruntled members, that the members of PB were not aware that the administrators had the capability to view members u2u's and that the u2u's should be private. I am posting this to alleviate any confusion.

The administrators of this board have the capability to access all areas of this site. We do this if the situation warrants it, i.e. spreading heresy, being obnoxious, ad hom assaults. No one on the administrative end are viewing u2u's for the sake of just viewing them (being nosey); Generally speaking, the times we have intervened and have had to investigate have been few and it turned out that that person or persons in question were deliberately doing something against the boards rules and were appropriately delt with. In that, the Spirit had guided us accordingly and of course, to the boards well being.

Just to clarify; There are 4 admins, Scott Bushey, Fred Greco, Matt McMahon and Phillip Way. We are the only people whom have access to u2u's. In fact, we use it to keep ourselves above reproach as well. There have been times where we were involved in questionable exchanges and the data that was in the u2u was used to even correct us, rebuke us etc.

We pray that you will understand that it is our intention to keep the board scriptural, safe and edifying. Unfortunately, satan is a wolf in sheep's clothing, roaming around, trying to devour. In this, we have to be wise as serpent and gentle as dove's.

Is it true that all PMs can be read by Moderators? If so, how exactly are they PMs?
As for the question itself, we don't go about reading your mails. Any more than AOL reads your e-mail. Any more than the US Govt reads your US Mail. Oh, but sometimes they do, when they get a warrant.

Don't think that your ISP will never check your e-mail, if the law directs them to do so. You think they want to go out of business? If your e-mail threatens them, or their network, you bet your bottom dollar they will be reading all that.

Well, the "warrant" for the administration here is ownership. You sign up here, and you expect to be treated well. Why? Well, you must repose some trust in the character of the administration. But YOU are not responsible for this place continuing to be a friendly place.

If one of your fellows is using the board to try to "pick up a second wife" and promote polygamy, do you think we ought to be able to investigate that? Don't mock. It's happened.

Bottom line, you have all kinds of expectation of privacy here. No one is going to read Zadok's PMs just because he asked this question. But, if you hadn't thought about it before, now you know: control of this board means TOTAL CONTROL.
Yeah, this announcements precedes my membership on the board by 2 months. In fact, when I ported the site from XMB to vBulletin about 2 years ago one of the immediate concerns from the Admins was the ability to police PM's as they had for U2U's.

Bruce brings up a good example of why this is needed. There is also the not so occasional promotion of a heresy in PM even when it is cut off in open forum.

A few things to know:
1. Only the Admins have this ability.
2. It is only used in extremis.
3. There has never been a case where things said about Admins or Mods in PM are used against others.

This is strictly utilized to keep the board Confessional to the best of our ability. If you don't like the best of our ability (read here please) then I'm certain you'll find people more competent than we are to run a board you would enjoy participating on.
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