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Commlinks and Personas

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Dreamwalker

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« Reply #15 on: <05-24-22/1751:04> »
The lore given in 5e is that brainwaves is one, but not necessarily the only, metric by which the matrix pairs you with your persona.  It literally, and plausibly, could have a metaphysical/Resonance-linked component to this perfect and un-impersonatable identification feature.
But what about turtle users? How would they authenticate or are they entirely a thing of the past?

... if the powers that be and who constructed the matrix had access to this mechanism.

That's the rub.  The Matrix is not completely understood, in-universe.  It's a genie that the corps don't fully control.
Then we better keep it that way. ;)

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #16 on: <05-24-22/1756:07> »
The lore given in 5e is that brainwaves is one, but not necessarily the only, metric by which the matrix pairs you with your persona.  It literally, and plausibly, could have a metaphysical/Resonance-linked component to this perfect and un-impersonatable identification feature.
But what about turtle users? How would they authenticate or are they entirely a thing of the past?

You can use a commlink without ever going into any matrix user mode (neither AR nor VR).  People with AR vertigo quality, for example, would be the primary example of such "lol look who's physically holding their commlink touching the screen to make a commcall" luddites.  Note that if you're not even IN AR, then you have no persona, and the question of authenticating your not-used persona is moot ;)

Quote
... if the powers that be and who constructed the matrix had access to this mechanism.

That's the rub.  The Matrix is not completely understood, in-universe.  It's a genie that the corps don't fully control.
Then we better keep it that way. ;)

Indeed.  But whatever IT is, is it even worse than the corps?  Let your paranoia flag fly.
« Last Edit: <05-24-22/1801:26> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, youíre fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Xenon

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« Reply #17 on: <05-24-22/2344:27> »
Book doesn't really go into details about how authentication and authorization works in Shadowrun (which is probably a good thing, look how much this changed recent years with identity providers and web tokens - technology that we didn't even heard of at all just 15 years ago).

But at least 5th edition was explicit that if you wanted to access the matrix via another device then you first had to reboot both the device you were currently using and the device you wanted to switch to. It was also explicitly explained that matrix ownership of a device was not automatically transferred just because you had physical possession of a device (in fact, to actually steal a device was quite risky, complicated and time-consuming).

That also implied that if you physically stole my my commlink then I would still be its rightful matrix owner, not you. Unless rebooted I would also still use it to access the matrix - I would still be logged into the matrix via the commlink, not you. Since I am still considered connected to the matrix it also seem as if I can still take matrix actions with my persona that is originating on my commlink (even if it physically happen to be in your hand rather than in my back pocket). At least as long as I have some kind of method of interacting with my commlink via wifi (either indirectly by looking at an image link in contacts, glasses or cybereyes and by wearing a VR glove or, more likely, directly by wearing trodes or having an implanted datajack, cyberjack, control rig.... new trodes only cost 70 nuyen).

If I were to look for my commlink (which is the matrix perception matrix action) I would immediately spot its device icon in the matrix (as long as its wireless is still enabled and it is not placed inside a Faraday's cage etc). If I wanted I could even trace its physical location (which is the trace icon matrix action) which would let me track it's exact physical geo-location, in real time. I could also share this location via an ARO (via the Send Message matrix action) to my team mates or the local authorities. If you were to take a matrix action on your own you would still use your own matrix persona that is still running on your own commlink that you used when accessing the matrix, not via mine.

It is not clear if you can actually access the matrix via a commlink that you are not considered to be the legit matrix owner of or not. But if we assume you can (or if we assume that I first spend one minute to legally hand over matrix ownership of the commlink to you or if you first illegally spend hours to successfully convert matrix ownership of my commlink to you) then you would still have to reboot both my commlink (in which case I would get disconnected from the matrix) as well as your own commlink (in which case you would also be disconnected from your commlink). Once both devices are rebooted you could choose to access the matrix via "my" commlink. But when you do you would access the matrix with your matrix persona, not mine. You would not become the matrix owner of my devices. You would still not gain access to my PAN.



This is also true for hosts-they don't recognize the difference between access that came legitimately and access that was hacked. 
I agree that this was the case in SR5 (while the act of using brute force or hack on the fly to place your mark on a host was an illegal action, simply being inside the host while having a mark on it was not). In SR5 you were often expected to not run silent and instead just change your icon and go with the flow. In plain sight (running silent also used to give you a negative dice pool modifier of 2 dice).

In SR6 I am pretty sure this mindset changed. A hacker with hacked access from Brute Force + Enter Host or Probe + Backdoor Entry is in this edition always considered an illegal user or admin if spotted (they are never considered to be legit users or legit admins - which is also the reasoning why even legit actions are opposed by the network while you are using hacked credentials). In SR6 hackers are also always considered to run silent whenever hacking a host (and they no longer get a negative dice pool modifier for running silent).
« Last Edit: <05-24-22/2352:08> by Xenon »

MercilessMing

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« Reply #18 on: <05-25-22/1201:44> »
That also implied that if you physically stole my my commlink then I would still be its rightful matrix owner, not you.
Yeah.  Ownership is another matrix topic I try my best to avoid whenever possible.  The canon is so convoluted.  Makes me just want to run away form matrix altogether.  What is the "I" in "I own this device"?  Is this a SIN, or are we getting into handwavy brainwave pattern territory again?

Surely, an "ownership" concept should be like filling out a Product Registry form that links to a legal construct like a SIN or Company, nothing more metaphysical, right?  Isn't it better to root day-to-day concepts in modern analogs so new people who pick up this game can intuit how technology works, and leave the truly weird scifi for specialists like decker and TM mechanics?


MercilessMing

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« Reply #19 on: <05-25-22/1204:13> »
Quote
Note that if you're not even IN AR, then you have no persona, and the question of authenticating your not-used persona is moot
  Is this in a book somewhere?

Banshee

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« Reply #20 on: <05-25-22/1306:30> »
Quote
Note that if you're not even IN AR, then you have no persona, and the question of authenticating your not-used persona is moot
  Is this in a book somewhere?

Not explicitly... but what is explicit is that you only have a persona when accessing the matrix through a device with the proper matrix attributes. So by extension then it can be concluded that if your not fully accessing the matrix (through a minimum of AR) then there is no persona generated.

FWIW ..  in my opinion what makes a persona unique and not device dependent is the biometrics (ie brainwaves, ID scans, etc) while the device creates the form of persona the device does not create the signature of the persona. Which is why the concepts works the way it does in my mind. Also the fact that this is all irrelevant to the game itself is why I never covered and actually argued against including such language in any official way.
« Last Edit: <05-25-22/1310:47> by Banshee »
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« Reply #21 on: <05-25-22/1315:48> »
That also implied that if you physically stole my my commlink then I would still be its rightful matrix owner, not you.
Yeah.  Ownership is another matrix topic I try my best to avoid whenever possible.  The canon is so convoluted.  Makes me just want to run away form matrix altogether.  What is the "I" in "I own this device"?  Is this a SIN, or are we getting into handwavy brainwave pattern territory again?

Surely, an "ownership" concept should be like filling out a Product Registry form that links to a legal construct like a SIN or Company, nothing more metaphysical, right?  Isn't it better to root day-to-day concepts in modern analogs so new people who pick up this game can intuit how technology works, and leave the truly weird scifi for specialists like decker and TM mechanics?

This has been an issue for a long while now (since 4e introduced the concepts of the wireless matrix). And, its never been explained in any great detail - probably because the writers at the time couldn't see a way forward to an explanation.

Case in Point:

To be a person and to legally own something, you need a SIN. Yet, a SIN doesn't seem to play a part in ownership, or if it does, its peripherally to the SIN. But somehow, the Matrix and the "funky, jumbo juice" it runs on just "knows" who owns what even when they don't have a SIN (AKA Runners, and other shadow dwellers). Now its implied that its done through some of meta data (brain wave patterns, Thought factored authentication, Mental check list, Cloud authorization, Rainbows and Unicorn farts) Which makes basically no real sense.... "You're telling me, that when I connect to the matrix, no matter where I am, the System reads my brain, and magically links me to all my accounts round the world in almost no time and can tell the difference between me and the other 7+ BILLION people? Yet, it can't tell if I have a Real SIN or a FAKE SIN"

Yea, sure...

In a security obsessed world of the 2070s+, if such an ownership system was as fool proof as the rules make it out to be (Remember all those "transfer ownership rules?") Then why wouldn't they use this Mental ownership checker to store SINs? 
To which the pedantic answer is "Well, if they did that, then Shadowrunners couldn't exist!" Which is NOT the point! Runners are such a tiny tiny minority that they don't exist statically, and the benefits of the mental authorization of SINs would outweigh the negatives. And really, your argument basically is "Because this would stop illegal activity, it can't be used for SINs". Excuse me??

Yea, this was just not a well thought out game design, which opened more cans of worms then the writers want to admit to. Hence the why this is one of the most asked questions of both 4e and 5e (go look back! LOTS of posts about this over the years.... and the same answers every time)

Now, Meta-wise, it makes sense why these limitations where placed on things, and why certain actions are described as requiring teams of specialists to do  (like making fake SINs), because we don't want the players from transferring ownership of ARES MACROTECHNOLOY to Joe Decker for the shits and giggles of it. Nor do we want Joe Decker draining the bank accounts of random people on the street... Or any of the other thousand of shit disturbing actions a person can think of doing..


In short: The developers painted themselves into a corner, and "Because" is the answer to get themselves out of it..

Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #22 on: <05-25-22/1359:13> »
Quote
Note that if you're not even IN AR, then you have no persona, and the question of authenticating your not-used persona is moot
  Is this in a book somewhere?

As Banshee said, not explicitly.  However, per first paragraph of "The Matrix in daily life" pg. 171 SR6, the distinction between AR user mode and using a commlink "turtle style" is made.  Additionally, in numerous places throughout the Matrix chapter it's said that the two ways you can use the matrix is via AR and via one of the VR modes.  Logically, it stands to reason that if you're not using VR and you're not using AR, then by exclusion of any other potential matrix user modes you're not using the matrix.  And if you're not using the matrix at the time, how can you have a persona at that time?


...To be a person and to legally own something, you need a SIN...

You had a lot to say based on this reasoning, but other than "a SIN doesn't seem to play a part in ownership" it's all profoundly incorrect.

Consider that the rules establish none of the following, which would have to be true if a SIN were involved in ownership:
1) SINless people can't have gear/PANs
2) You don't have to say WHICH SIN/Fake SIN you're registering ownership through (as opposed to the example that IS given for Credit Accounts, pg. 272)
3) If your Fake SIN is burned, you'd lose any "owned" gear along with any lifestyles/credit accounts linked to that fake SIN
4) not 6e specific since the CRB didn't have Criminal SINs, but prior editions did (and this discussion is apparently going all the way back to 4e) people with Criminal SINs are not blocked from owning guns and other gear they ARE disallowed from having licenses to own.

Ownership isn't linked to a SIN.  And it never was, to the best of my knowledge, in 4e or 5e either.  Licenses certainly are, but that's very much not the same thing as matrix ownership.

Consider a stealth tag you put on a vehicle.  Clearly, subtlety is a priority since you're bothering to use a stealth tag.  Yet you want to own it, matrix-wise, so that you can trace its icon automatically and not have to engage in an aggravating game of rolling against your own gear running silent (if you can trace a hostile stealth tag, you never needed it in the first place- you could have traced their car itself!).  But surely you're aware that there's the risk of your opposition finding the bug, and accepted that risk or else you never would have placed it.  So, what can they learn if they DO find it?  Well, if you actually had it as part of your PAN then if you spot one device, you spot the network, so you probably didn't do that.  So long as you DIDN'T put your digital name on the device by leaving it in your PAN, all they have is an anonymous device.  They can hack it, they can "steal" it and change ownership away from you, but so long as you didn't include it in your PAN there's no link they can use to identify WHO owns it.  But until such time they DO come to transfer ownership of the bug, they can't remove it from your PAN (if it was in the network to begin with) nor can they add it to theirs (if they wanted to).

Consider a gun you left behind at a crime scene.  You probably DID have that as part of your PAN, so if you're aware you lost it you'll want to sever it from your persona PDQ.  But when Lone Star finds the gun, so long as it's not still in your network they don't have an easy way to trace ownership, per se.  Since it's a gun and almost everywhere requires licensure, they CAN just check the databases to see who holds the license for this gun. NOW SINs come in to play, through tracing licenses.
« Last Edit: <05-25-22/1401:47> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, youíre fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Xenon

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« Reply #23 on: <05-25-22/1430:40> »
What is the "I" in "I own this device"?  Is this a SIN, or are we getting into handwavy brainwave pattern territory again?
But do we really have to know how tech 50 years from now might be working, in detail? Is that really important for driving the story forward I wonder. What is the worst thing you think will happen if we just accept that it works?

I remember that Hacking in the early 90s was vastly different than how hacking is performed today, just 30 years later in 2022. I can't even start to imagine how hacking might be performed 50 years from now.

I also remember watching the original TRON movie and reading the Sprawl Trilogy back in the early 90s. Being introduced for the first time to alien concepts like cyber cowboys that connected their brains directly some strange world named cyberspace where they would slice through black IC. There were no details on how it worked. Guy that wrote all that stuff were not even tech savvy to begin with. It was all just make belief. Still, I was hooked. For life. High Tech. Low Life. Cyberpunk at its best.

I honestly don't think it would be a good idea for authors to just copy existing proven security techniques (like PIN-code, username + password, fingerprint scanner, etc). Sure, tech nerds (like me) would recognize ourselves and we would be happy about the technical details (at least initially), but risk is it would quickly feel obsolete and out-dated long before next edition would be released and it would probably also open up a can of edge cases that also had to be described and handled (such as identify theft, key loggers, man in the middle attacks, cross site scripting, bait n switch, cookie theft, etc).

And at the end of the day (and I think this is the most important argument) all that extra detail would perhaps also not even be very fun for people that are not working within IT on a daily basis and just want to play a session of Shadowrun.



... to legally own something, you need a SIN.

It does seem as if you need to have a SIN if you wish to apply for a passport, licenses, bank account, join the military, etc., but I am pretty sure having a SIN is not a requirement for accessing the public grid, owning electronic devices or paying for stuff via certified credsticks.



In a security obsessed world of the 2070s+
Not sure the world of 2070 is as security obsessed as you might think it to be (or want it to be, being in the line of work you are in RL).

Generally speaking I think the future were typically a lot more security obsessed in earlier sci-fi. Older sci-fi often had a communistic mindset with strong governments and often featured government controlled secret police and "big brother see you" themes. The movie Gattaca is a good example of this.

With the introduction of cyberpunk the future was (at least in western cyberpunk) instead often portrayed with a hyper capitalistic mindset where corps were often more powerful than small countries, gaps between the top % and the poor masses were bigger than ever and where Big Data was typically gathered by competing commercial companies and where the data was also used mainly for commercial purposes (such as targeted ads).


To which the pedantic answer is "Well, if they did that, then Shadowrunners couldn't exist!" Which is NOT the point! Runners are such a tiny tiny minority that they don't exist statically, and the ...
Impersonation and Social Infiltration are both large parts of the TTRPG Shadowrun setting and lore. The rules as written allow for that. What you are suggesting make sense from a security engineer's point of view, but this game is not about security engineers. The game revolve around professional criminals. In order for professional criminals to operate there simply need to be huge gaps in the security architecture that.


Now, Meta-wise, it makes sense why these limitations where placed on things, and why certain actions are described as requiring teams of specialists to do  (like making fake SINs), because we don't want the players from transferring ownership of ARES MACROTECHNOLOY to Joe Decker for the shits and giggles of it. Nor do we want Joe Decker draining the bank accounts of random people on the street... Or any of the other thousand of shit disturbing actions a person can think of doing..
Perhaps it is more important (valuable) for the authors to make sure the rules prevent all the things you just listed (and that they at the same time allow your players to impersonate and socially infiltrate) than to put time and effort into describing in detail just how matrix ownership is resolved under the surface or the exact technical reasoning why you cannot steal someone else's SIN or some other detailed behind the scenes description of tech that will not be invented for another 50 years.

Xenon

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« Reply #24 on: <05-25-22/1443:35> »
...just check the databases to see who holds the license for this gun.
I think perhaps that in the world of Shadowrun your license is not connected to a specific gun, but rather act as a blanket permit to possess any firearm (or perhaps a specific class of firearms).
« Last Edit: <05-25-22/1446:00> by Xenon »

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #25 on: <05-25-22/1502:39> »
...just check the databases to see who holds the license for this gun.
I think perhaps that in the world of Shadowrun your license is not connected to a specific gun, but rather act as a blanket permit to possess any firearm (or perhaps a specific class of firearms).

That level of granularity is indeed not specified.  But surely the gun has to be linked to a license, whether it's one license for all your guns or one license per gun.  I can see it being preferable/advantageous for the character to have some guns (apparently) licensed, so that you can present them for examination at checkpoints, and some guns being unlicensed so that they're untraceable.  Going "no license" would be the equivalent of filing off the serial number- it'll never pass any kind of inspection, but at least you're not linked to it, either.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, youíre fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #26 on: <05-25-22/1601:28> »
Ok, at least I know now ownership lives in the same rule space as personas.  I just have to say it's a shame that in a game about doing crime, with cybernetic gear dedicated to defeating biometrics of all kinds, using social skills to get passwords and steal keys, and expensive tech made for breaking into secure computer systems and liberating their contents, stealing phones and cars is such a hassle and impersonating someone online is damn near impossible. 
The next time Mr Johnson asks my team to steal a prototype, I'm just gonna tell him "Wow are you sure?  You know as soon as it's connected to the matrix, the owner can find it right?  And you have to leave it on all day to get rid of that".  :-P
 

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« Reply #27 on: <05-25-22/2338:18> »

...To be a person and to legally own something, you need a SIN...

You had a lot to say based on this reasoning, but other than "a SIN doesn't seem to play a part in ownership" it's all profoundly incorrect.

Consider that the rules establish none of the following, which would have to be true if a SIN were involved in ownership:
1) SINless people can't have gear/PANs
2) You don't have to say WHICH SIN/Fake SIN you're registering ownership through (as opposed to the example that IS given for Credit Accounts, pg. 272)
3) If your Fake SIN is burned, you'd lose any "owned" gear along with any lifestyles/credit accounts linked to that fake SIN
4) not 6e specific since the CRB didn't have Criminal SINs, but prior editions did (and this discussion is apparently going all the way back to 4e) people with Criminal SINs are not blocked from owning guns and other gear they ARE disallowed from having licenses to own.

Ownership isn't linked to a SIN.  And it never was, to the best of my knowledge, in 4e or 5e either.  Licenses certainly are, but that's very much not the same thing as matrix ownership.

Consider a stealth tag you put on a vehicle.  Clearly, subtlety is a priority since you're bothering to use a stealth tag.  Yet you want to own it, matrix-wise, so that you can trace its icon automatically and not have to engage in an aggravating game of rolling against your own gear running silent (if you can trace a hostile stealth tag, you never needed it in the first place- you could have traced their car itself!).  But surely you're aware that there's the risk of your opposition finding the bug, and accepted that risk or else you never would have placed it.  So, what can they learn if they DO find it?  Well, if you actually had it as part of your PAN then if you spot one device, you spot the network, so you probably didn't do that.  So long as you DIDN'T put your digital name on the device by leaving it in your PAN, all they have is an anonymous device.  They can hack it, they can "steal" it and change ownership away from you, but so long as you didn't include it in your PAN there's no link they can use to identify WHO owns it.  But until such time they DO come to transfer ownership of the bug, they can't remove it from your PAN (if it was in the network to begin with) nor can they add it to theirs (if they wanted to).

Consider a gun you left behind at a crime scene.  You probably DID have that as part of your PAN, so if you're aware you lost it you'll want to sever it from your persona PDQ.  But when Lone Star finds the gun, so long as it's not still in your network they don't have an easy way to trace ownership, per se.  Since it's a gun and almost everywhere requires licensure, they CAN just check the databases to see who holds the license for this gun. NOW SINs come in to play, through tracing licenses.

You didn't read my post clear enough, or I wasn't clear enough....

SIN and Ownership DO NOT seem to be linked (as I said), but this is part and parcel of the problem and the disconnect that me, MM and others have... lets start again.


A SIN (System Identification Number)
SR 4a pg266
Quote
....If you lack a SIN, many activities that normal citizens take for granted
become impossible for you. For example, you need a SIN to get a legal
job, open a bank account,own property, go to school, rent an apartment,
establish utility services, and so forth.

SR 5 pg 366
Quote
A SIN is issued to a person
a birth, and stays with them (baring exceptional circumstances)
for the rest of their life. A SIN identifies a
person in the global information system and is attached
to every piece of information associated with them in
the Matrix. No aspect of modern or legal life can function
without a SIN. Those who donít have one canít get a
job, canít buy food, canít even walk down the street. To
the system, these people donít exist.

So, before we even get to the matrix:

To buy that commlink, and the matrix access, you need a SIN. Property that you own is linked to said SIN. (like, said Commlink, matrix subscription, your house, your gun, etc)... So by what everything is telling us, a SIN is required for all of this...

And YET: Runners CAN leave Guns they purchased at crime scenes without fear of being caught. Runners CAN get a place to live, CAN get bank accounts, buy and "own" property... and every thing else.. Cause its tied to a SIN....


YET:  I steal some random assholes Commlink, fly to a different country, log into the matrix.... and it's MY Personna, MY commcodes, MY accesses.... And not the commlink nor the person that owns the Commlink...   This makes no logical sense to us. Nor does it make any sense to anyone else. Because clearly MY Personna, MY commcodes, and MY Accesses - which should be all assigned to my SIN, clearly are not... They are somehow attached to... 'Magical Matrix fairy dust'???

And IF there is NO way to fake, or spoof a Personna, Why are we bothering with SINs???  Clearly SINs can be faked, and cheated creating an improper and insecure system, while their is a totally unhackable, unspoofable system known as "Personna" that could track all that same info (because it's already tracking everything I do matrix wise).... From a Security stand point, Clearly SINs are a security risk, while Personnas are "air-tight".

AND THAT is the heart of the problem many of us have with Personnas and the matrix.

Now yes... I understand the basic meta of why Personnas track with you, and the why we can fake SINs and not personnas... but it is just the logical gap in the world that makes no sense, especially since the game goes out of its way to say "Yea... just "buy a fake SIN to get around all this legal crap" but doesn't provide a to FAKE a Personna... Which opens up lots of other questions like:

Why aren't runners getting nuked By G.O.D all the time? If you can't change a Personna, then once your overwatch score gets high enough, then clearly G.O.D knows your Personna, why don't they just keep an eye open for your next log in and continue the attack? If the Matrix can track my Personna over multiple devices (That I may not even own!) Surely they track and lock onto my Personna the next time I log in.... Right???? (And don't say "no" because if MY Personna can form without any of my "owned" equipment, files, or programs, Then YES, G.O.D could/should be able to track me once I relog in! One is more of a stretch then the other: If we ignore the Meta for a moment)

And I say "this was an issue introduced with the wireless matrix and 4e" Because it was!

A perfectly viable strategy for Runners in 1-3e was social engineering your way into a situation that would allow you to steal a person's Commlink and their access codes on it for your run. And if you were smart, and the situation allowed, you would steal the commlink, have your Decker copy all the info on it, then return said commlink to its original owner while your team when about on its run! Or you could steal someone's pass card for the same effect. BUT the ONE thing you COULD NOT DO in 1-3e was crack a SIN...

In 4 to 6e (but I am just gonna talk about 4 and 5..) taking a commlink is a moot point, as it doesn't hold any passcodes or access codes, those are held by the Personna. Which can't be cracked, hacked, spoofed or cheated. Yes, you can still steal a pass card, and yes you still CAN NOT hack a SIN.


If anything, PERSONNAs should be something that Deckers/Technomancers would want to crack and spoof as they are the "keys" to the matrix playground, and a way to protect yourself from being identified... but as it stands right now, PERSONNAs are a 100% accurate way of identifying someone, and thus linking them to ALL their criminal activity! 

Basically it boils down to a fallacy in the world systems to preserve the Gaming Meta for consistent play based around a flawed perspective that was lead to inconsistencies in world tone, flavor and logic.
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #28 on: <05-26-22/0056:47> »
You didn't read my post clear enough, or I wasn't clear enough....

To be fair, I think we might be talking past one another a bit, actually...

Quote
... lets start again.


A SIN (System Identification Number)
SR 4a pg266
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....If you lack a SIN, many activities that normal citizens take for granted
become impossible for you. For example, you need a SIN to get a legal
job, open a bank account,own property, go to school, rent an apartment,
establish utility services, and so forth.

SR 5 pg 366
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A SIN is issued to a person
a birth, and stays with them (baring exceptional circumstances)
for the rest of their life. A SIN identifies a
person in the global information system and is attached
to every piece of information associated with them in
the Matrix. No aspect of modern or legal life can function
without a SIN. Those who donít have one canít get a
job, canít buy food, canít even walk down the street. To
the system, these people donít exist.

So, before we even get to the matrix:

To buy that commlink, and the matrix access, you need a SIN. Property that you own is linked to said SIN. (like, said Commlink, matrix subscription, your house, your gun, etc)... So by what everything is telling us, a SIN is required for all of this...

And YET: Runners CAN leave Guns they purchased at crime scenes without fear of being caught. Runners CAN get a place to live, CAN get bank accounts, buy and "own" property... and every thing else.. Cause its tied to a SIN....

Ok I've already read through your entire post, twice, in order to give you the full respect you're due before jumping in and interrupting your flow.

This is clearly a point of contention as we're already not on the same page when it comes to what "property" means.  I see now you're reading it as being a synonym for "possession". And, of course, it CAN mean that.  OTOH, I've always read that context to mean something more along this definition:

Property is any item that a person or a business has legal title over. Property can be tangible items, such as houses, cars, or appliances, or it can refer to intangible items that carry the promise of future worth, such as stock and bond certificates.

Now, if we're not going to agree that SINless can indeed buy "possessions" that are not "property", as defined along the lines of just above, then we are indeed starting from points of little mutual agreement.  You obviously haven't been presuming that a commlink can be a possession but not be property, whereas I have been.  I can't speak for a 4e writer's intent, but I'm confident predicting that was the RAI but again I cannot say with authority there.  So, we may end up agreeing to disagree, and if so from this point on our points of view will likely not reconcile any closer.

But let it be said that from here out, I'm operating under the definition that "property" is something that involves recognizing a title, or, more relevantly to the SR rules... licensure.  SINless absolutely can buy drek from a vending machine and/or black markets.  Furthermore, commlinks can absolutely go untied to any SINs, even for the SINners.  It'd be analogous to a prepaid/no-contract cell phone in real life, and would almost assuredly be how any criminal would maintain their commlink service.

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YET:  I steal some random assholes Commlink, fly to a different country, log into the matrix.... and it's MY Personna, MY commcodes, MY accesses.... And not the commlink nor the person that owns the Commlink...   This makes no logical sense to us. Nor does it make any sense to anyone else. Because clearly MY Personna, MY commcodes, and MY Accesses - which should be all assigned to my SIN, clearly are not... They are somehow attached to... 'Magical Matrix fairy dust'???

Well, yes.  But not because of magical matrix fairy dust.  It's because a persona isn't ON your commlink.  Your persona is entirely on the matrix... the commlink is just the vehicle you use to access the matrix and your persona.

And none of this is tied to a SIN because frankly you don't get subjected to a SIN verification test every time you use the matrix.

By the way, I don't know if you realize it or not but "magical matrix fairy dust" actually isn't actually that far off from being how it truly does work, in-universe.  The corps actually don't understand how the matrix works... completely.  More on that downpost...

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And IF there is NO way to fake, or spoof a Personna, Why are we bothering with SINs???  Clearly SINs can be faked, and cheated creating an improper and insecure system, while their is a totally unhackable, unspoofable system known as "Personna" that could track all that same info (because it's already tracking everything I do matrix wise).... From a Security stand point, Clearly SINs are a security risk, while Personnas are "air-tight".

AND THAT is the heart of the problem many of us have with Personnas and the matrix.

Big Brother can't ID you by your persona for the same reasons you can't impersonate someone else's: neither you nor anyone else has access to the metadata/technobabble behind anyone else's persona.  The Matrix is concerned with who matches with a persona.  Big Brother is concerned with who matches with a SIN.  Those are circles that simply don't overlap on a venn diagram.  Big Brother doesn't use "whatever technobabble the matrix uses with personas" in SIN verification tech because they don't understand how the Matrix works.

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Now yes... I understand the basic meta of why Personnas track with you, and the why we can fake SINs and not personnas... but it is just the logical gap in the world that makes no sense, especially since the game goes out of its way to say "Yea... just "buy a fake SIN to get around all this legal crap" but doesn't provide a to FAKE a Personna... Which opens up lots of other questions like:

Why aren't runners getting nuked By G.O.D all the time? If you can't change a Personna, then once your overwatch score gets high enough, then clearly G.O.D knows your Personna, why don't they just keep an eye open for your next log in and continue the attack? If the Matrix can track my Personna over multiple devices (That I may not even own!) Surely they track and lock onto my Personna the next time I log in.... Right???? (And don't say "no" because if MY Personna can form without any of my "owned" equipment, files, or programs, Then YES, G.O.D could/should be able to track me once I relog in! One is more of a stretch then the other: If we ignore the Meta for a moment)

And I say "this was an issue introduced with the wireless matrix and 4e" Because it was!

I think what I already said either addresses your concerns above, or simply will be rejected out of hand.  We're either now in agreement or simply at loggerheads... either way the convo is likely run its course.

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A perfectly viable strategy for Runners in 1-3e was social engineering your way into a situation that would allow you to steal a person's Commlink and their access codes on it for your run. And if you were smart, and the situation allowed, you would steal the commlink, have your Decker copy all the info on it, then return said commlink to its original owner while your team when about on its run! Or you could steal someone's pass card for the same effect. BUT the ONE thing you COULD NOT DO in 1-3e was crack a SIN...

In 4 to 6e (but I am just gonna talk about 4 and 5..) taking a commlink is a moot point, as it doesn't hold any passcodes or access codes, those are held by the Personna. Which can't be cracked, hacked, spoofed or cheated. Yes, you can still steal a pass card, and yes you still CAN NOT hack a SIN.

There's still useful data to be read/stolen from a commlink. At minimum it's going to have records of everything its owner's persona did while accessing the matrix via that device. It's probably also got photos/holopics you snapped, personal files stored on it, and so on. The only thing you can't do is log in to the matrix as the owner's persona, is all.  As I said upthread you can't just steal an employee's commlink and log into their work host as them, but there's no reason that stealing some credentials stored on their commlink can't result in an Edge bonus on your attempt to hack your way in.  IMO doing such research on the host you plan to infiltrate ought to be rewarded in such a way, really.

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If anything, PERSONNAs should be something that Deckers/Technomancers would want to crack and spoof as they are the "keys" to the matrix playground, and a way to protect yourself from being identified... but as it stands right now, PERSONNAs are a 100% accurate way of identifying someone, and thus linking them to ALL their criminal activity! 

Again, only "The Matrix" is able to use whatever it uses for that imposter-proof ID mechanic.  Everyone else, megacorps included, are stuck with fallible options. 

Also note that "you" are never identified via your Persona.  That 100% accuracy is only ever applicable to your persona being the same persona you've ever used. If you change your matrix handle from S3XR0b0T to Clownpuncher, when a spider sees that S3XR0b0T's hack is all over the security logs (assuming you didn't sanitize those before you left) they'll know that now applies to Clownpuncher should you show up again.  But they won't know your real world identity either way, even though the matrix still logs you into your Clownpuncher persona rather than the S3XR0b0T handle you used previously.

Edit: another analogous example: If I'm SSDR some of the time on the matrix, and I use other handles other times in the matrix, any OS I accumulate under EITHER handle goes to the same persona.  The Matrix can't be fooled by "changing your persona".

Edit 2: If you want to impersonate X by making Z think X sent them a commcall or message, that's still possible.  You can't just automatically succeed because you stole X's commlink, is all.  You have to hack Z, and make them think the call/message came from X.  It's actually a bit more permissive, since you don't even have to steal X's commlink in the first place.

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Basically it boils down to a fallacy in the world systems to preserve the Gaming Meta for consistent play based around a flawed perspective that was lead to inconsistencies in world tone, flavor and logic.

If I haven't satisfactorily illustrated why it's not a fallacy, I think we'll have to agree to disagree from here.
« Last Edit: <05-26-22/0131:25> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, youíre fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

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« Reply #29 on: <05-26-22/0629:57> »
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Ok I've already read through your entire post, twice, in order to give you the full respect you're due before jumping in and interrupting your flow.

This is clearly a point of contention as we're already not on the same page when it comes to what "property" means.  I see now you're reading it as being a synonym for "possession". And, of course, it CAN mean that.  OTOH, I've always read that context to mean something more along this definition:

Property is any item that a person or a business has legal title over. Property can be tangible items, such as houses, cars, or appliances, or it can refer to intangible items that carry the promise of future worth, such as stock and bond certificates.

Now, if we're not going to agree that SINless can indeed buy "possessions" that are not "property", as defined along the lines of just above, then we are indeed starting from points of little mutual agreement.  You obviously haven't been presuming that a commlink can be a possession but not be property, whereas I have been.  I can't speak for a 4e writer's intent, but I'm confident predicting that was the RAI but again I cannot say with authority there.  So, we may end up agreeing to disagree, and if so from this point on our points of view will likely not reconcile any closer.

But let it be said that from here out, I'm operating under the definition that "property" is something that involves recognizing a title, or, more relevantly to the SR rules... licensure.  SINless absolutely can buy drek from a vending machine and/or black markets.  Furthermore, commlinks can absolutely go untied to any SINs, even for the SINners.  It'd be analogous to a prepaid/no-contract cell phone in real life, and would almost assuredly be how any criminal would maintain their commlink service.

We are not at cross definations here... let me ask you this:

SINless guy walks into a store, and hands the clerk $2500 in certified Cred. The Clerk hands SINless Guy a Commlink....

  How does the SINless guy take LEGAL possession of his property??
Short answer is: "He can't".   YES he has the plastic goodie in his dirty SINless hand... but he doesn't actually own it. (from a LEGAL stand point). YES he paid cash money from his own savings, the clerk acknowledged and affirmed the transaction by handing the SINless Guy the Commlink... But he doesn't LEGALLY own it. (Not in the world of Shadowrun!)

The reason that he doesn't own it is.... Because he doesn't have a SIN! Full Stop. Everything you own is Registered to a SIN... Remember? I quoted it to you from 2 different sources (and while I don't have the 6e book, I doubt its changed).

As I have been saying, all your property, be that physical, digital, intangible, is tied back to a SIN. Heck, even the initials in your name, city of birth, date of Birth, GPA, credentials, schools attended are all Stored in your SIN, even your DNA... A SIN is the depository of your life.... The digital thumb print that you exist. 

Without a SIN, there is very little a person can do in the SR universe that interacts with "normal" society...


Now SINless Guy can get around some of this by using a Fake SIN... and have the ownership of the Commlink transferred from the store to the fake SIN, sure. Now he technically "owns" the commlink... for as long as that fake SIN stays active. (And once it's burned, then everything registered to it is also burned.. And he "owns" nothing, even though he is in "possession" of the commlink...)

AND YES, Anything that is registered to a fake SIN that gets burned gets legally frozen (And probably flagged as "stolen"). Be that apartments, guns, clothing, cars, GRID access, Commlinks, and any other property registered to it. So get out those "dice" and start transferring ownerships :P

<Not that many tables go THAT far into the whole system and issues with SINs, but yes, RAW that is what happens. Most tables just hand wave all this away when a SIN gets burned... or should I say IF a SIN gets burned... as this seems to happen very little in actual play.... >


And then there is the Matrix... which we have talked about and probably never going to see eye to eye on...

If the Matrix and SINs are not attached: How do you buy your GRID access? (they cost money remember? Except for the Public GRID... Eww! Loser). How do you buy your Music? Or your games? Or pay for your groceries? Or for that paywall to "Hot Troll chicks with Dwarf Girls on llamas"???? (Cause you GOT to see THAT! its a classic you know!) So clearly, there is some  overlap and cross connectivity between the Matrix and SINs... there has to be, or the Matrix is not a financial tool. (Because Bank accounts are stored in SINs remember?). How do you take ownership of your digital property if SINs and the Matrix Don't interact? And since they have to interact with your personna (because you're ON the Matrix!) to conduct the transaction....

See where I am going with this?



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By the way, I don't know if you realize it or not but "magical matrix fairy dust" actually isn't actually that far off from being how it truly does work, in-universe.  The corps actually don't understand how the matrix works... completely.  More on that downpost...
***
Big Brother doesn't use "whatever technobabble the matrix uses with personas" in SIN verification tech because they don't understand how the Matrix works.

Wait... WHAT?!?!?!
    "They" (being the Corps) build digital worlds in it, use it for data storage and transmission, conduct phone calls, digital meetings, build programs to run in, modify, edit, deny access to, encrypt and change it, transfer trillions of credits through it, HOURLY. Use it to send thoughts, smells, images, sounds, and tactile impulses directly to and interacting directly WITH THEIR BRAINS (and yours too if you hot-sim VR). 

But "They" don't know haw it works. Entirely...

Wow.... you would think, what with everything they can do, and DO do,  they would know how it works...

I mean really  ::)


Now, I don't expect there to be a giant blurb in the rulebook that goes into great detail about the minute details of how it works.... but "They don't know how it works, entirely" ???

Yea... ok.
This just doesn't work for some of us.
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.