German Privacy law


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @asdf said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    @izzion said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    If your argument is "it's illegal to make private messages visible to moderators" then it definitely matters if your software calls them private messages or not, since, you know, legalities.

    I don't want to derail this thread with an argument, but: Trust me, the name really doesn't matter at all. The privacy of private correspondence is a constitutional right here. You'd need a pretty huge disclaimer to be able to legally eavesdrop on those conversations.

    I realize German shit doesn't stink, but unless you're arguing that it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL for anyone to be an e-mail system administrator in Germany, then you're just flat out wrong.

    Because the Discourse "P"M interface is exactly the same as your e-mail interface. It's a message that you address to one or more individuals, and they can reply to to the message. Heck, it even has an easily recognizable e-mail envelope icon right on the button!

    And you know what, when you send an e-mail through your favorite e-mail server -- everyone who has mailbox administration privileges on your mailbox, or the mailbox of any designated recipient of your message, or administration privileges for the mail queues of any server involved in the message, or... has the ability to read your e-mail. And at least with Exchange, it's actually pretty damn easy -- I could read any e-mail the CEO sent today with no more than a handful of mouse clicks.

    So, which is it? Are you being unconstitutionally violated every time you send an e-mail? Or are you overreacting just a tidge to Discourse's (very standard) handling of recipient-limited (aka "private") messaging?

    Edit: Better word choice in last sentence.



  • @izzion said in German Privacy law:

    Are you being unconstitutionally violated every time you send an e-mail?

    I feel like I'm being unconstitutionally violated every time I receive one. Especially when they're Webex meeting requests.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @izzion said in German Privacy law:

    I realize German shit doesn't stink, but unless you're arguing that it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL for anyone to be an e-mail system administrator in Germany, then you're just flat out wrong.

    What you definitely cannot do, for example, is use company-wide spam filters that inspect the content of emails. Yes, that's already violating the Fernmeldegeheimnis.

    @izzion said in German Privacy law:

    And you know what, when you send an e-mail through your favorite e-mail server -- everyone who has mailbox administration privileges on your mailbox, or the mailbox of any designated recipient of your message, or administration privileges for the mail queues of any server involved in the message, or... has the ability to read your e-mail.

    The point is that you're not allowed to, only under very specific circumstances (e.g. you suspect illegal content). So a software which makes this easy is not a good idea.

    Note that I never claimed that using Discourse would be illegal in Germany because of that. That's your shoulder aliens talking.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @asdf said in German Privacy law:

    Note that I never claimed that using Discourse would be illegal in Germany because of that.

    Uh wot? That was literally your very first statement in the chain that led to me forking from the OP:

    @asdf said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    @izzion said in Help, they're moving us to Discourse!:

    Discourse PM support behaves like a standard topic and supports having more than 1-to-1 conversations, whereas NodeBB's chats are a bit of a dumpster fire.

    But the PMs are not actually private. Which is illegal in Germany, BTW, unless you put a huge disclaimer somewhere in the PM interface.

    Discourse has no huge disclaimer in the "P"M interface, ergo you are claiming that [administering] Discourse is illegal in Germany.



  • @izzion said in German Privacy law:

    And you know what, when you send an e-mail through your favorite e-mail server -- everyone who has mailbox administration privileges on your mailbox, or the mailbox of any designated recipient of your message, or administration privileges for the mail queues of any server involved in the message, or... has the ability to read your e-mail. And at least with Exchange, it's actually pretty damn easy -- I could read any e-mail the CEO sent today with no more than a handful of mouse clicks.

    You're confusing the ability to read any e-mails with the right to read any e-mails. If someone discovers that you abused your ability then you'll land in very hot water. I'm pretty sure that your CEO would agree.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Rhywden
    I'm not the one arguing that programming a moderator interface to access PMs if necessary is illegal in Germany. You want to talk to @asdf about confusing ability and right to read PMs / e-mails.

    Edit to add: Obviously, it's just as bad in the US for me to be indiscriminately reading the CEO's e-mail and could in fact be illegal (or, at the very least, lead to me doing other illegal things with the data I got from my very unethical and fireable-offense reading of the CEO's e-mail)


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @izzion
    So my first post triggered some bite reflex because what I wrote was ambiguous and you didn't read what I wrote after that? Got it.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @asdf
    :/ I'd be happy to admit I was wrong if I had selectively quoted your argument.

    Except I didn't. That was literally 100% of it. Without shoulder aliens, there's no other way to interpret the statement except:

    • Discourse PMs are not private (moderators can read them)
    • This is illegal in Germany unless there is a disclaimer in the PM interface

    Which then is a very simple logical conclusion of

    • Because Discourse does not have the disclaimer, it's illegal in Germany.

    And I seem to recall that aforementioned logical conclusion was actually, literally thrown in the Discoteam's face back when we had a flamewar running here & there over the use of "Private" in their UI around PMs, before they took "Private" out. Though I can't spend time searching for proof of that right now, so I'll be happy to retract this final paragraph if necessary at a later date.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @izzion
    I'll happily admit that what I wrote at first was easier to misunderstand than understand correctly. My following posts should have clarified the issue, though. Or maybe I'm just bad at communicating, who knows. :shrug:

    @izzion said in German Privacy law:

    And I seem to recall that aforementioned logical conclusion was actually, literally thrown in the Discoteam's face back when we had a flamewar running here

    That may or may not have been the case. If it was, this may or may not have happened because I was frustrated due to Jeff's attitude and exaggerating. I mean, it was obvious that he didn't give a shit about legal requirements at all during the earlier discussion about the EU cookie law.



  • @asdf said in German Privacy law:

    violating the Fernmeldegeheimnis

    Some people pay top dollar for that kind of service



  • @hungrier Gah. I hate the way formaldehyde smells.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @boomzilla said in German Privacy law:

    @hungrier Gah. I hate the way formaldehyde smells.

    I know what you mean. It is the worst part of my crippling necrophilia habit.


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