Privacy Rewrite GSoC Project

Felipe Contreras felipe.contreras at
Wed Jul 22 07:11:53 EDT 2009

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 9:47 PM, Ethan Blanton<elb at> wrote:
> Felipe Contreras spake unto us the following wisdom:
>> > Ethan has to say the following over this topic:
>> >
>> > "I think that we all agree that we want to move away from the "Allow
>> > all below", "Block all below", etc. etc. to something more coherent. I
>> > have been thinking something like:
>> I disagree. The main issue is that some protocols don't support some
>> options, you simply need to avoid showing them, that's it.
>> MSN supports "Allow users below" and "Block users below", so you
>> should show only those options.
> Many developers have expressed a desire to unify the privacy interface
> across all protocols, such that we have only ONE privacy model, and it
> is implemented in each protocol as necessary.  I don't think this
> point is on the table any more.  Someone can correct me if they
> disagree.

Yeah, and beauty peageants have expressed their desire for world
peace. An entirely different question is: is it feasible? If so, how?
I don't think it's feasible; privacy is going to behave very
differently in different protocols.

Which point is not in the table any more? Unified privacy model, or
privacy settings appropriate for each protocol?

>> > [ ] Block messages from all users not on my buddy list
>> >
>> > [ ] Block {chat invitations, subscription requests, etc.} from all users not
>> > on my buddy list
>> >
>> > [ ] Allow users who are not on my list to see my presence
>> There's already a way to block file transfers: click on the "Cancel"
>> button when you receive one.
> This is non-sensical -- that isn't blocking file transfers, that's
> requiring the user to deal with each file transfer independently. And,
> yes, we do have users who ask to have *all* file transfers, chat
> invitations, and subscription requests blocked.

The end result is the same; the file transfer is dropped.

You have users who want to have *all* blocked? Isn't that achieved by
blocking the user?

>>  And why would you want to block file transfers but not chats? And why
>>  would you want to block chats, but not block the user?
> These questions, I cannot answer.  It may be that it is sufficient to
> have "Block everything but messages".

Why would anybody want that? Who will send spam on multi-user chat,
send viruses through ft, but otherwise be perfectly sensible on IM.

Felipe Contreras

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