back to article Slap for Slack chat app after US, Canada chaps zapped in Iranian IP address map whack

Following changes in the way it figures out where people are located, US-based Slack informed an undisclosed number of individuals this week that they're no longer welcome on the chat app, due to America's export controls and sanctions. On Thursday, various Slack users took to Twitter to share account closure notices they had …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weaponizing potential

    "...Slack’s Electron client is so CPU hungry..."

    I'll say, 15% CPU when it's doing something, on my Linux box anyway. But what torques me off is the ponderous half-gig of memory it feels it needs. That's more than Firefox with fifteen tabs open! And it's double what Skype consumes, oy.

    "Slack" should be prefixed with "cut me some" I think.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Weaponizing potential

      "...Slack’s Electron client is so CPUGPU hungry..."

      It re-uses browser components which are GPU dependent and it itself is GPU dependent. 15% is typical for an older Intel because of that runt Intel pretends to be a GPU.

      Get a proper laptop with a proper APU and it will be at a very solid 0 nearly all of the time. It's the same with Firefox, Chrome, etc. Because the browsers (and their libs) finally learned how to use a GPU, even an ancient E-series looks better than some relatively recent Intel laptops.

      It is 0 here:

      cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "model name"| uniq

      model name : AMD A12-9700P RADEON R7, 10 COMPUTE CORES 4C+6G

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Weaponizing potential

        Get a proper laptop with a proper APU and it will be at a very solid 0 nearly all of the time

        So its just pissing away time & power running stupidly bloated code on the APU instead, but that is not showing up in 'top'?

      2. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: Weaponizing potential

        Isn't Slack just a chat client? Something that should be implementable in a megabyte or two, even if you write it in Java.

        1. cat_mara

          Re: Weaponizing potential

          Yes, but then Slack's hipster coders would be obliged to learn a real grown-up language, you unthinking monster

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Via Twitter, Alex Stamos, former chief security officer of Facebook and currently a lecturer at Stanford University, observed that Slack's overzealous account bans are a consequence of saddling tech platforms with enforcement responsibilities in the absence of clear legal guidance.

    More like people chaining themselves to low-value and gimmicky proprietary software.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    travelled to Iran a few years ago

    and so it begins. We were warned.

  4. Steve K Silver badge

    Whack a mole?

    What is to stop them creating a new account?

    If other IPs on their account are linked to their “Iranian” one (and so would flag their account) then due to dynamic IPs Slack would be in for a whole load of spurious account closures from people who have never visited Iran - so Slack can’t be doing anything that sophisticated to prevent this.

    Unless they are also targeting anyone with an Iranian-sounding name.....

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Whack a mole?

      "What is to stop them creating a new account?"

      Or using IRC.

  5. _LC_
    Unhappy

    Fascism

    Jewish stars are back in fashion.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Fascism

      I understand and agree with your feeling but I'm not sure I feel comfortable up-voting the comment...

  6. devTrail

    Is it a GDPR violation?

    A Belgian who said he traveled to Iran a few years ago also reported an account closure.

    Wait a minute. For something like this to happen it means that the must have logged and saved in a databased all the IP addresses they used in the past and then they must have used those data to analyse the moving patterns of their subscribers. This means that even commercial services use to snoop into people lives much more than what they what are supposed to do, and they aren't even afraid that their users find it out, they basically openly admitted it.

    Is it consistent with GDPR? I don't think so, the IP address is considered a sensitive datum. The Belgian citizen might have something to say about it, he might have room to sue them.

    1. JohnGrantNineTiles

      Re: Is it a GDPR violation?

      If it was "a few years ago", that would have been before GDPR came into force.

      1. devTrail

        Re: Is it a GDPR violation?

        If it was "a few years ago", that would have been before GDPR came into force.

        No. They stored some data years ago, but they are still logging and saving those data. They allowed now a person to access the data and take decision upon sensible data. This case really shows tht GDPR has a purpose, here we have normal persons allowed to take decisions that should be left to public official. There's a lot of room for mistakes or abuse.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ironic then that Israel and Iran are antagonistic to each other.

    1. _LC_
      Flame

      Re: Ironic then that Israel and Iran are antagonistic to each other.

      Officially they condemn each other. Then again, the “radical forces” in control (or better: the people behind those) need each other. ;-)

      Can you remember when Iran used to be liberal? “The West” had to fix that immediately.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1990/11/05/reagan-calls-israel-prime-mover-in-iran-contra/

      [REAGAN CALLS ISRAEL PRIME MOVER IN IRAN-CONTRA]

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Ironic then that Israel and Iran are antagonistic to each other.

        "Can you remember when Iran used to be liberal?"

        Yes. I'm not sure whether you can. Things had changed by Reagan's time.

        1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

          Re: Ironic then that Israel and Iran are antagonistic to each other.

          "Can you remember when Iran used to be liberal?"

          No, I can't. That would have been a LONG time ago - back when Mohammad Mosaddegh was the Iranian Prime Minister, so before 1953. That was when Reza Pahlavi was made Shah by a Brit/US coup engineered to protect oil company revenues from paying Iranian taxes. Reza Shah was pretty damn illiberal. His family seems to have had both hands in the till while he built up the SAVAK to stomp on anybody who objected.

          I travelled through Iran three times in the '70s. In '73 you had to know what was going on and look under a stone or two to see what the SAVAK were up to: I was not aware of them. But, by October '77 they were pretty much in everybody's face. However, a lot changed in the next six months. In May '78 it was obvious that the Shah was about to be shown the door. Iranians I'd never met before would tell me how much they disliked the Shah while chatting in the streets of Mashhad.

          It was very unfortunate for Iranians in general that after the revolution, the Ayatollah Khomeini turned out to be just as autocratic as the Shah had been and, worse, not only took over the SAVAK lock stock and barrel (renaming it slightly in the process), but made it even more powerful.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Furthermore, rest assured that not a single Middle Eastern regime has a leadership that could dare oppose almighty Israel.

      An example is Egypt's Morsi.

      He attempted to ease the sanctions imposed on Palestinians in Gaza and open the gates of the Rafah Land Borders between besieged Gaza and Egypt[1], as part of his intent to reach out to Palestinians in their crisis, and lo and behold, he never managed to complete one year in office, before a military coup d'etat ousted him.

      On the other hand, his successor managed to completely lock them down by orders of Israel.

      (Not to say that Morsi was a complete angel though, he had his flaws, and the Muslim Brotherhood has many more, causing the US to ultimately designate them as a terrorist organization, but this stance of his was one prominent factor in his demise)

      [1] France24 source, in Arabic.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    Did I read that right ?

    Slack shut down the accounts of people who had been to a blacklisted country, but no longer were there ?

    That is not how you do it. You use geolocation to forbid blacklisted countries from using your app from the forbidden country.

    Otherwise, you are saying that it is the people from those countries who cannot use your app wherever they are, and that's called racism.

    And, if they're in the US, you're getting sued. As you should be.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Did I read that right ?

      Racism is discrimination based on race, not nationality.

      There are lots of totally legit examples where people from specific countries are banned from holding certain jobs or positions or whatever in other countries though that seems rather a tangent here.

  9. dcrole
    Facepalm

    See what you made us do?

    "Via Twitter, Alex Stamos, former chief security officer of Facebook and currently a lecturer at Stanford University, observed that Slack's overzealous account bans are a consequence of saddling tech platforms with enforcement responsibilities in the absence of clear legal guidance."

    This is the equivalent of dropping plates on the floor "accidentally" so as to get out of washing the dishes.

    1. devTrail

      Re: See what you made us do?

      This is the equivalent of dropping plates on the floor "accidentally" so as to get out of washing the dishes.

      Is there a law that makes user tracking mandatory? Were they obliged to log, store and analyse every single IP address their users used in the past? I don't think so.

  10. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
    Coat

    Iran is in the headlines...

    ...executing first the Sultan of Coins and now the Sultan of Bitumen.

    If they manage to track down Guitar George then he is going to be in Dire Straits.

    And says at last, just as the time bell rings

    "Goodnight, now it's time to go home... I'll get my coat"

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    get a grip

    As an IT professional with an (unnamed) security clearance I can tell you that if I even talk to a foreign national that there is a form to fill out and questions to be answered. So, if you have ever used a sensitive piece of software in a country on the block list, your account gets axed. Too bad, so sad. Get a new account and learn from your mistake. National Security will always win over privacy protections such as GDPR. Pick a different battle.

    downvotes won't change reality.

    1. devTrail

      Re: get a grip

      You are missing the point. This is a private company, not public officials. They collected data and tracked their users beyond the scope of their business. Who gave them such authority? If we accept that private corporation can assume unilaterally the right to protect our "security" we let them accumulate such a power that sooner or later they'll abuse it.

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