With the latest report that Facebook shared access to users' private messages with multiple companies, trust and privacy are becoming a thing of the past. You never know, whether you are on Twitter or some other platform like YouTube, you may be doxed, banned, or even have your entire history of metadata sold down the river to the highest bidder by these companies.
Now, the popular messaging system that is known as Slack, or "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge", has apparently begun banning those users who have visited countries under sanctions from the U.S. At first, users wondered why they were suddenly banned from using the cloud-based messaging app. Then, Slack announced it has begun banning users who have traveled to certain countries like Iran and North Korea in order to be in compliance with U.S. regulations.
The Biggest Complaint
So far, most users seem to be angry with the fact they received no warning in advance of the ban and had otherwise been complying with Slack's terms of service agreement. Some users even reported that although they had visited a U.S. sanctioned country, it was many years ago and still believe their bans were an error on the part of Slack.
Other countries that have seen visitors' Slack accounts banned include Cuba, Syria, and Crimea, as well as areas where Slack says its systems can't be used. The messaging service is home to 8 million businesses who rely on the network to communicate including companies like Airbnb and Ticketmaster.
Hacker News website reported that one user complained about his wife's sudden ban because she had lost access to years of work data ranging from messages to files.
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The user from the Hacker News report also said his wife had been flagged for traveling, "legally" to Cuba "years ago" and has been told there is no recourse for her and no way of appealing the sudden ban. Another user who is a Ph.D. student in Canada, Tweeted that he believed he was included in the ban because of his Iranian ethnicity alone.
The ban has been widely Tweeted about under the hashtag #SlackBan and some people have questioned whether the move actually goes beyond the scope of the U.S. sanctions which punishes companies who violate them. Slack offered an official statement through the website Mashable saying they "prohibit unauthorized Slack use in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and the Crimea region of Ukraine".
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The Slack statement also said that its systems "may have detected an account and/or a workspace owner on our platform with an IP address originating from a designated embargoed country" but that it will "review further" any cases where the ban may have been an error.
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