An important annoucement regarding your email address security from DALnet's CEO
Hey all, First off, as most of you know, the services team has released an email feature set for services. Basically, at this point we're requiring each registered nick to have a valid email address associated with it. The typical scenario goes a little like so:

user 'bill' registers a nick supplying a valid email address (/msg NickServ register <password> <emailaddress>) user 'bill' receives an email from services with an enclosed "authorization #" 'bill' forwards this authorization number back to nickserv and registration is complete.

A similar process occurs for changing your email address (or setting it for the first time on an already registered nick)

user 'bill' uses the "set email" command (/msg set email yournickpass <emailaddress>) services sends 'bill' and email address containing an authorization code and instructions 'bill' receives the email, follows the instructions and his email is set.

You all have the ability to make your email address either private or public via the /msg "set showemail" command. If you decide to make it public, it's shown in a normal /ns info.

Stepping away from technical description, two immediate benefits of the email system are:

First, we have the obvious help for our CSop staff. Day after day our CSops are forced to make difficult decisions on whether to give out passwords to nicks that need help. This problem is alleviated quite a bit with the implementation of an email system. CSops can send a single command to services and services will locate the password for a nick, assemble a quick email message and zip it off to the user within minutes without any human intervention. Of course this system won't eliminate all of the CSop work, but it will ease most of it.

Second, users that choose to get to have their email address shown in /NS INFO. Using the NickServ 'SET SHOWEMAIL ON' command, a user can opt to have their email address made public.

I guarantee you that the services team will be working diligently to improve upon this system in many ways. With each new feature, you'll have the choice to opt in or stay out. Your email privacy always being the top concern as is obviously evident by the current design which is detailed a bit better below.

Some frequently asked questions follow:

Q: When a CSop uses the 'SENDPASS' command, do they see my email address in the process?
A: No. A CSop sends a 'SENDPASS' command to either ChanServ or NickServ and services takes care of the rest. Instead of sending the CSop your email address and having them assemble a quick email to you with your password, services takes care of this internally and sends you an email by itself with no human intervention.

Q: How is my email address visible?
A1: Your email address is visible to the public when you use the NickServ command 'SET SHOWEMAIL ON'. Once you set 'showemail' on, your email address pops up just like a URL would in your /NickServ INFO. When you enter an email address, NickServ defaults to turn 'showemail' off for privacy.
A2: A CSop can use the 'GETEMAIL' command on a nick. This would be used by request of the user to help in debugging troubled email settings. Each time a CSop uses this command, a message is sent out to warn all of the other IRCops about it's use. The entry is also logged. I've been thinking about tossing something on the users site in which a user can see a list of CSops that have used this command on their nick just to be sure that their email address remains private. Depending on whether you all want it, i'll write that within a day or so.

Q: Will you sell my email address?
A: DALnet, it's staff, partners, vendors, friends and all other associates of DALnet will not sell, barter or give your email address to any entity, including both persons and businesses, without the request of it's owner. That's it. Bottom line. After I write this email i'm going to post that line as well as most of this email on our web site for all to see and leave it there for good. I'm not in the business of selling email addresses. I hate spam just as much as you all do. I realize that most of you in the past have had to supply an email for something and in turn have been spammed left and right. I'm not about to follow tradition.

Keeping track of an email address is a very personal thing to most people. In a letter to DALnet's staff, I compared it to a bank account # in the real world and that's how I feel we should treat it. The utmost in privacy... and that's how I have designed the entire system. You know your email address. Services knows your email address. That's where it ends.

Q: Is there a grandfathering rule?
A: No. One of the main goals i'm trying to accomplish is to make available an email address for each nick for the CSops. I'm not so worried about people getting their passwords stolen, i'm worried about people forgetting them. It's a simple thing to do. Within a month my goal is to have an email address for each nick, both old and new.

I know it's difficult to divulge information like this after you've been abused by other people on the internet who have promised time and time again that 'your security means everything'. In reality, they turned around 5 minutes later (or less) and sold your email address to a list targeted advertisers and you've been harassed ever since. DALnet simply isn't about that. DALnet is based around it's users, pure and simple. What other large IRC community offers free email, web sites, a logged in user section where you can meet other people, services that help you manage your channel and nicks, help staff left and right, etc. The list really goes on and on and it reveals a trend that DALnet cares about it's users. We're not about to ruin things now.

And finally, for the most skeptical of you, from a business standpoint, it's not even worth it to sell the addresses. At most i'm going to see maybe 120-130k email address. Totally untargetted since i'm not gathering any other user information from you all. And keeping this in perspective, these are chat network addresses, not the top 120k users from targetted pieces of a major financial web site that have said they make over 150k per year. What could I possibly make? 50 bucks, maybe 100? Hardly worth it. I'm here to build a fun, feature rich community not to make a quick 100 bucks in which I can go off and buy starbucks coffee with every morning for a few weeks.

Let's all move past this, there really is no fear. You all have my word that this information is private today and will stay private for the length of DALnet. If you ever have a concern that your privacy has been invaded somehow, let the services team know and they'll promptly investigate it.

That's it. Like I said, i'll be posting this on the web site tonight. I'll make the url for reference.

Thanks much,

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