Those who closely follow either projects development will have noticed a few “odd” looking commits to their sourcecode in the past few days.
The commits all concerned InspIRCds m_invisible module which provides similar functionality as the old mode +I in UnrealIRCd 3.1.x.
Quoting the InspIRCd wiki page about m_invisible the module
adds support for quiet (invisible) opers. A quiet oper is invisible to normal users on channels. This can be used for surveillence of botnet channels, statistics bots, etc. Note that other opers CAN see invisible opers; +Q only hides the oper from non-opers.
The brawl emerged when Atheme developer nenolod commited a few changes to the services packages that would make such a join visible to channel members by announcing that “Channel security has been compromised” because an invisible user has joined.
This commit was followed up by danieldg of the InspIRCd developer team who moved the module out of the main – and therefore by default included – modules into the seperate “inspircd-extras” repository, but only in the 2.0 beta and 2.1 pre-alpha branches.
The initial commits to Atheme have since been reverted but there now are checks for m_invisible being loaded and the services package now refuses to link if it spots the module being present.
The module, referred to as “morally unacceptable” and “not … ethical” by nenolod, has legitimate uses such as “private networks inside offices, with special uses, those do need logging and accountability, most of them even disable private messages entirely” said developer Brain when asked about his views of this whole situation. They wrote it because “users asked for the module” and his opinion is that it “should be kept, and we’re keeping it, in third party”.
Brain says to him “it’s all about choice, the choice to run the modules or not to, we aren’t going to tell people whats right and wrong” and that “people are sensible enough and educated enough to decide for themselves”.
What’s your opinion about this? Do you use m_invisible on your network? And if so, do you tell your users that such a module is loaded? Guns don’t kill, people do?