Website, BBS Privacy, and Usage Policy

Website, BBS Privacy, and Usage Policy

Website Privacy Policy
BBS Privacy Policy
Required BBS User Data
Optional BBS User Data


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This is the privacy and BBS usage policy for the websites of The Thunderbolt -- A Weather Wonder (with related links) -- and for the now former computer BBS, The Thunderbolt BBS. This page was updated on April 30, 2021.

The sites are run as a hobby by myself, Daryl Stout, and in loving memory of my late wife, Janice.

The Thunderbolt -- A Weather Wonder is my original main homepage, and is actually hosted by Ace-Net Hosting. The Thunderbolt BBS is now history after 29 years. It had run under GT Power, Virtual Advanced and Synchronet BBS software. Unfortunately, I'm locked out of the Xfinity Router to put it into bridge mode, and putting it in the cloud, means that over 350 legacy doors are now worthless. I couldn't see putting it online with no doors, and unless alternate arrangements can be found, the longest running BBS in Arkansas is now gone.

For the record, a BBS is short for a ''computer bulletin board system''...sort of a small version of services like AOL (America Online).

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Website Privacy Policy

Concerning my main homepage -- while I normally don't have ''cookie code'' with the HTML that I prepare, the only way that I know someone has visited the site is if the counter has changed, or if you send me Feedback. My HTML knowledge is very basic and limited, and I wouldn't know where to begin with ''cookie research''.

Links that are NOT directly related to my main homepage may or may not have cookies with them. I take no responsibility for these links...except that I have tried them to be sure they do not have ''inappropriate content'', such as promoting pornography, pirated software, etc. If you do note a ''bad link'', please send me Feedback.

The Virus Protection links of Network Associates/McAfee, Frisk Software - F-Prot, Sophos, Grisoft , F-Secure, IObit, and CA Internet Security, are some of the leading anti-virus and anti-hoax companies in the world, and I've had experience with all of them. You're advised to check them, and pick the one, or another site, that best serves your needs.

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BBS Privacy Policy

Concerning The Thunderbolt BBS itself, user data files on the BBS, which I ran as a hobby, a FREE SERVICE, and as a safe alternative to the Internet from 1992 to 2021 -- were kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

What you do OUTSIDE THE BBS is YOUR BUSINESS...even if such activity could be considered against the law (illegal), immoral, unethical, or un-Biblical. However, YOU ARE A GUEST IN MY HOME AT LOGON, and you are EXPECTED to act in a manner where you would be welcomed back.

Since I do not know the identity of a caller logged onto the BBS as GUEST...and because the behavior of a BBS caller reflects back on the BBS...these callers may ONLY do the following tasks on the BBS, no matter what the logon method is.

1) Read the System Notices message area.

2) FULL downloading of files.

3) LIMITED doorgame access.

Full access to all message boards (including reading and posting), all file areas, and all doorgames were RESERVED FOR VERIFIED CALLERS IN GOOD STANDING. Areas that are RESERVED FOR THE SYSOP STAFF are NOT displayed to regular callers.

The ONLY way user data was given out were if there are violations of the BBS rules...such as uploading of viruses, pornography, pirated software, repeated use of foul language, and other items...which are detailed in the System Bulletins online via telnet or FTelnet logons. If the violation is serious enough, Confirmed Visiting Sysops, along with Confirmed Law Enforcement officers, will be given the data of the offending user for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. I would NOT let a total, unknown stranger into my home, and seriously doubt that you would, either.

There is a policy on the BBS, for what to do if users lose or forget their password...and that is contained in the System Bulletins, as noted earlier. The Sysop himself, has at times, forgotten his password...much to his embarassment.

Per Public Law 98-473, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2510, there is NO SUCH THING as a TOTALLY PRIVATE MESSAGE on the BBS. The Sysop Staff can read ANY AND ALL messages posted, whether or not they are the intended recipients. The Sysops are NOT responsible for the views in ANY message EXCEPT their own...and conversely, the views in a posted message are those of the one who posted them... and they may or may not reflect the views of The Thunderbolt BBS Sysop Staff. Messages found to have content in violation of the BBS rules may result in lowered access level, deletion, lockout, blacklisting on other BBS's, referral to law enforcement, or one or more or all of the above...depending upon the nature of the violation.

Other policies of the BBS including files areas, doorgames, and the System Disclaimer (in the file DISCLAIM.ZIP, in File Board 1, are listed in other bulletins online...which ALL USERS ARE REQUIRED TO READ. By logging on to the BBS, you AGREE to abide by the conditions therein, whether you read the System Disclaimer or not.

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Required User Data

The following data was REQUIRED for all BBS users, before access will be granted to the BBS.

1) REAL First and Last Name. You may use an alias at logon, but, your REAL NAME will be posted in the message areas that are outside the local areas (board 1). Due to InterBBS Competition rules, doors that are in these competitions REQUIRE that players use REAL NAMES.

2) Email Address. This is if I need to contact you about an issue with your BBS account.

3) City, State, and Zip Code. I'd like to know where you're logging on from.

4) New Users are REQUIRED to leave Feedback To The Sysop, and will be emailed a random code that they must enter on their next call to receive a TEMPORARY ACCESS LEVEL, which is in effect until their information can be verified. If data is found to be missing, etc. their account will be SUSPENDED, and Confirmed Visiting Sysops will be notified!! If they FAIL to do this within 7 days of initial logon, their BBS account will be DELETED without comment.

5) Whether you are Male Or Female. You're obviously one or the other.

6) Proof of a Valid Amateur Radio License, if you wish to use the Worked All States, or Buckmaster Callsign Search doors, or the QRZ QSL Card File Area.

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User Data Not Needed

None of this data is needed...please keep these to yourself.

1) Drivers License or other Photo ID.

2) Financial Income Information (workplace salary, inheritance, stocks, bonds, Social Security, Disability, etc.). Even though the upkeep of the BBS and the websites are a financial black hole for me...donations are NOT required to stay online. Note that while VOLUNTARY DONATIONS to help with expenses will be gratefully accepted and appreciated, they are NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE, and are NON-REFUNDABLE.

3) Religious Affiliation Or Lack Thereof. While there are Christian related items (message areas, file areas, bulletins, and doors) online, you are NOT REQUIRED to use them. These are online for those who want them. If you access these, what you do with the data is up to you.

4) Sexual Orientation or Marital Status. Again, what you do OUTSIDE THE BBS...including in the privacy of your home, or YOUR BUSINESS.

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