Friday, January 20, 2012

Privacy vs. Ponies

All sorts of things I’d like to talk about today, but I suppose I am obligated to talk about the dustup that happened earlier today on Blab, regarding the stolen BreyerFest Special Run photos.

Someone - or someones, I’m not sure - apparently "hacked" their way into the less public parts of Reeves’ server, and downloaded photographs of several as-yet-unannounced BreyerFest Special Runs, as well as body shots of both sides of the upcoming Valentine’s Day Special. And then they posted them in a couple of threads on Model Horse Blab.

Reeves caught wind of it, contacted Blab, and the threads were locked down, removed from public access, and the person or persons responsible for the hacking and publishing were suspended from Blab, with insinuations that possible legal action to follow.

I just happened to be on Blab around the time the photos were being posted, and my first thought (after "ooh, I want…") was "Uh oh, someone’s been sneaking around the back end of the Breyer web site. Again."

I understand Reeves’ dismay at the situation, and I do not fault them for the swiftness or the intensity of their reaction. On the other hand, this has happened before, and Reeves should not have been surprised that it happened again. I am sort of shocked that, in light of those previous incidents, that they hadn’t beef up their security protocols by now.

This does not mean I express any sense of approval for the actions of the hacker(s) in question.

I’ve said this on numerous occasions: I love my hobby, but some of my fellow hobbyists I can do without. They don’t just lie, steal, or cut in line. They will have their children proxy show for them at youth-only live shows, trample a disabled woman in a wheelchair, and casually express (non-hobby related) opinions so offensive they’d leave most decent people dumbstruck.

Being a hobbyist does not automatically make you a good person. It just makes you someone I happen to have something in common with.

Because of this web site, and because of my reputation, I also happen to have access to a lot of (legally) sensitive Breyer information. I try my best to not spread anything questionable around, thought from time to time it does slip out, accidentally. There’s a lot of data in my head, and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what is and isn’t permissible to say. If I do blurt out anything unacceptable, it’s not with any intent to do an Anonymous-style "gotcha" on anyone.

(Conceivably, I could, but I like enough of you that I want to stick around in the hobby a while longer, y’know?)

I didn’t download any of those pictures, nor will I relay any information about them, except in the most general sense (Glossies! Pintos! Vintage molds!) I suspect within the week, the privacy issue regarding much of that information will be moot. (That’s why they were on the server in the first place, right?)


Helen said...

There are people who have their children proxy show that like? A while back, you mentioned that people need other hobbies besides the models, and I agree completely. (Model horse collecting isn't my primary hobby, and I think I'd go nuts if it were. That's just how I think I would feel, not how everyone acts.) Thanks for another intelligent post, your views are always refreshing.

Anonymous said...

I've seen opinions expressed on Blab that got some optical muscle-straining side-eyes from me.

ANDREA said...

Re: the Youth/Novice show problem - it's mostly an issue where prize models are awarded.

It's de facto proxying, where the kids borrow a few choice models from Mom's/Dad's collection for the day, but show them under their own name.

jan said...

the kid proxy showing thing, I have a nice collection and two kids. They have collections, too, but theirs are played with, scratched and repaired. Just like my childhood breyers. If my kids want to show, I will help them, but not by lending them my collection. I will help by pointing out flaws and loaning them my breed books. If they win, it will be by themselves.