Virtual Church of the contact | map
Blind Chihuahua


More to religion
than pleasing
your imaginary friend

Like, you're at work, browsing here from a corporate LAN that tracks your every key-stroke, and you're worried about our privacy policy? Don't worry — you'll still look pretty good in performance reviews compared to the guy who spends half his workday touching himself while looking at porn sites.

But even if you're not at work, you need to appreciate how the web works. To view a web page, your browser sends an http request to a web server. That request contains the current IP address of your computer in order for the server to know where to send the packets of information that your browser receives and assembles into a web page for you to see. All web servers maintain logs that enable the server administrators to check for malicious activity. These logs contain every http request the server receives, and a code for every response it sends in return. A curious web site administrator can look at the site's log file and determine that say, "the user at viewed these 4 pages over a 10 minute period, using the MSIE 6.0 browser, from a machine running Windows XP." In fact, if the administrators use a geo-locating service or database, they can even estimate the location of their visitors' ISPs.

For example by embedding in this page a little JavaScript (which runs on your browser, not our server) we can get your browser to display your location. We don't know where you are, but your browser does:

You are located approximately in
Latitude:   Longitude:
GeoIP courtesy of MaxMind.

If this bothers you, you can pay to have your IP address anonymized. (The link does not constitute an endorsement of a product or service, just an example of one.)

But even if you use an anonymizing service, your Internet Service Provider (ISP - the company you pay for your internet connection) logs every single one or your online activities, from sites you browse to emails you send to your online gaming and chat room chatter, and keeps these logs for some period of time. Your government can obtain these logs. In other words, your internet activity is potentially public, no matter what we do on our end of the connection.

Nevertheless, we do what we can to protect your privacy. We do not intentionally collect private information, although we do give Forum members a chance to fill out whatever parts they wish of a profile which is visible to other Forum members. We do not give out your email address. We do not give away, trade or sell viewer's information.

We reserve the right to set cookies (tiny text files) that your browser stores for some period of time. These files are commonly used by web sites to tell if you've been there before in order to offer an enhanced browsing experience. Normally one web site can't read another's cookies. Again, if this bothers you, modern browsers offer you a way to make them toss their cookies as often as you like.

VCBC is not set up to be attractive to children. We figure that anyone who has the intellectual capacity to read and be interested in the stuff we write has the intellectual capacity to protect their own privacy on the web by not giving their contact information to strangers.

Back in the early days of the web, when when the web was small and people were searching for connection, we would acknowledge authors' contributions with link to their email address. We no longer do this, because harvesting programs collect the addresses for spammers. Now an author's byline links to an email form which sends the email to the author while concealing the author's email address. The author does get the sender's email address (and if your email program supplies it, your name) — otherwise the author could not reply.

Oh, yeah. One more bit of legal boilerplate. Our privacy policy is subject to change without prior notice. We will try to keep a current version of it posted here. If you have questions or recommendations concerning our privacy policy, contact us.

And if you really want to do something about the privacy of your data, including your internet activity and shopping patterns, click here.

It's better to have someone sniff your butt than your bitstream.

Surfing is as safe here as anywhere. Like life itself, it's at your own risk.