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Re: irc legaility
From: Marius Huse Jacobsen <mahuja () c2i net>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 16:46:05 +0100

Hello Simon,

Saturday, November 20, 2004, 2:22:12 AM, you wrote:

SL> In the following scenario; you are a business, is IRC logs of
SL> conversations and lists of hosts be help up in a court of law if a
SL> client you spoke to refused to pay or hold up the end of a bargain
SL> or agreement, and is faxing a document (no hard copies sent via
SL> post) accepted as a legal document in a court of law.

I Am Not A Lawyer...  so don't trust me on questions of legality.

but, from a logical standpoint:

I think an independent third party present would greatly help in the
IRC case.

Create a channel, make sure noone else can get in, (though remember
admins might still see what you're saying) invite the other party, and
invite a "recorderbot" of some sort.

The recorderbot would join, transmit a message to the channel saying
"I'm recording everything said here" or something to the effect. After
which the business part would start.

I'm imagining something like a command "!bind" : "Will all parties
accept being bound to this agreement?" and a command "!finish" after
all have said yes. The finish command would cryptographically sign the
log, send it to each participant, as well as store it somewhere.

That should, provided the integrity of the recorderbot (and its
hosts) (i.e. has not been hacked, trustworthy (independent?) admin)
prove that a conversation, and its contents, has in fact taken place.

Weaknesses:
1. It does not prove that the two parties both are who they would
appear to be. The deal would not be valid if made with someone else.
2. The independentness and integrity of the recorderbot could be
questioned.
3. Things I haven't thought of. (Anyone?)

-- 
Best regards,
 Marius                            mailto:mahuja () c2i net
 

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