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Letter from the North On cheating in bridge

#1 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2020-November-27, 09:21

The Nordic Bridge Union has sent a letter about cheating to almost all organizations that are regulating the game, WBF, EBL and other zonal organizations, plus the national unions. You’ll find the letter at bridgewinners.com.
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#2 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-November-27, 11:31

An initiative very well taken !

But with my some 40 years experience in IT (and security in particular) I wonder how we with online bridge can possibly counteract violations of (for instance) Law 73B:

B. Inappropriate Communication between Partners
1. Partners shall not communicate by means such as the manner in which calls or plays are made, extraneous remarks or gestures, questions asked or not asked, or alerts and explanations given or not given.
2. The gravest possible offence is for a partnership to exchange information through prearranged methods of communication other than those sanctioned by these Laws.


???
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#3 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-November-27, 13:58

View Postpran, on 2020-November-27, 11:31, said:

But with my some 40 years experience in IT (and security in particular) I wonder how we with online bridge can possibly counteract violations of (for instance) Law 73B:

B. Inappropriate Communication between Partners
1. Partners shall not communicate by means such as the manner in which calls or plays are made, extraneous remarks or gestures, questions asked or not asked, or alerts and explanations given or not given.
2. The gravest possible offence is for a partnership to exchange information through prearranged methods of communication other than those sanctioned by these Laws.

???


You may have noticed during those 40 years that face to face bridge was rife with violations of that same law, both involontary/innocent (more or less, see Weasel Convention) and volontary/cheating (finger signals, cigarette positioning, coughing and card orientation, to cite some collusive conventions uncovered at international level).

Of course electronic play is at risk too, but that risk can be greatly reduced with some measures that are obvious for high level competition.
As Richard said:
- Physically separate members of a partnership in separate rooms. (Ideally, separate rooms that are far away from each other)
- Have physical proctors (and, potentially even sweep individuals for bugs).
As he omitted because now taken for granted:
- audio-video surveillance
- time delayed kibitzing.
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#4 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-November-27, 15:31

View Postpescetom, on 2020-November-27, 13:58, said:

You may have noticed during those 40 years that face to face bridge was rife with violations of that same law, both involontary/innocent (more or less, see Weasel Convention) and volontary/cheating (finger signals, cigarette positioning, coughing and card orientation, to cite some collusive conventions uncovered at international level).

Of course electronic play is at risk too, but that risk can be greatly reduced with some measures that are obvious for high level competition.
As Richard said:
- Physically separate members of a partnership in separate rooms. (Ideally, separate rooms that are far away from each other)
- Have physical proctors (and, potentially even sweep individuals for bugs).
As he omitted because now taken for granted:
- audio-video surveillance
- time delayed kibitzing.

Sure (and my bridge experience in fact goes further back another 30 years), but the main difference between face to face and online bridge is that you are under continuous observation when playing face to face while playing online is almost like playing solitude. The latter still requires some means for continuous observation of each and every player to protect against the use of electronic means for communication.

I believe there is a psychological element of protection against cheating when having face to face contact at the table rather than feeling completely left alone with only some electronic means for contact with your fellows.
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#5 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 02:34

View Postpran, on 2020-November-27, 15:31, said:

Sure (and my bridge experience in fact goes further back another 30 years), but the main difference between face to face and online bridge is that you are under continuous observation when playing face to face while playing online is almost like playing solitude. The latter still requires some means for continuous observation of each and every player to protect against the use of electronic means for communication.

I believe there is a psychological element of protection against cheating when having face to face contact at the table rather than feeling completely left alone with only some electronic means for contact with your fellows.

You may not have noticed that platforms like RealBridge with integrated audio visual communication have started to be developed and even before that some people simulated virtual screens by using communication devices like Skype or Zoom. Not perfect, but they do remove the sense of playing in solitude.
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#6 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 02:54

View Postpran, on 2020-November-27, 15:31, said:

The latter still requires some means for continuous observation of each and every player to protect against the use of electronic means for communication.


I'm curious (also as someone with experience in IT and politics) how this can be achieved without a totally fascist or other authoritarian type state

What I (and I am sure many others) actually have a right to know is. Just because I signed up for BBO and the occasional ACBL tournament (to get better quality hands and play) whether there are people arrogant enough to think they have a right to pry on my private life, where I sit and play on my computer or on my phone.

Thats all I am asking. Simple question to those obnoxious and arrogant to think they can intrude into every area of our lives

If anyone else is wondering, those proposing such surveillance have just been given the FU in every direction I can imagine them watching from

I think a bit of clarification is required before this goes any further. Oh why I mention it is I imagine they will do studies and find that after they proposed fascistic surveillance of all online bridge fewer people have been playing accredited tournaments - therefore they are cheats QED you ignorant assholes. Sorry for using a rude term I meant Nazis

And no, just because of some small print in an agreement to use an online Bridge site, that does not give you the right to spy on every aspect of someone's life, no matter what BBO or anyone elses' lawyers might say. Apologies to the Lw and everyone in the Law. I mean no disrespect. But I know my rights under any manner of laws and conventions. I don't exactly trust all the institutions with those conventions and how much effort it would be to bring a case but I suggest anyone considering total Bridge surveillance check them out too. To me those rights should not even need to be written down, enshrined in anything, argued in any court. they are basic and unchallengeable human rights

The fact such measures are even countenanced or discussed is a terrifying and sick indictment on the state of the world and the techno-fascists who want to, are trying to or currently rule over us

Seriously all of you. I know there are total fascist out there. But I'm sitting on my mobile phone using the App to play an ACBL tourney. What. You want full observation on me at all times, where I am, whom I am with

Any of you even countenancing that should be ashamed

Ohh that terrible Possum accusing people of fascism or Nazism. You know there is an easy way not to have people suspect it. One is not to act like one.
Secondly maybe dont even talk like one

Seems to me that all the concerns the world has about trust is that those in power misunderstood the direction that trust needs to go

Apologies for jumping into yet another Bridge issue but this whole discussion has been englected in every area of our lives for far too long, and I think given the lack of trust in the techs and all tech-related power (almost everyone these days) it is high time these issues, the means of surveillance available now were discussed widely by the whole world and at every level of power. Its disgusting that it has even reached this stage. Under the pandemic we gave persmissio for a while for some in power to break those rights (for a while). But sersiously. Is nobody else cocnerned about the breadth and extent of control and surveillance over every aspect of our lives. I am not ingorant of power and quite appreciate if the bulk of the world want fascistic control and surveillance its hard to resist but ....

Sorry but the word Law (to me at least) applies to rights in every area of our lives

I actually had something of a dream, a nightmare or maybe a musing last night. Recently I have been getting very creeped out by certain things going on on various platforms. Lets take Facebook for example (not singling out at all) and certain creepy things I have observed with the way it behaves, changes to certain embedded objects and media (ie big media-tech-data-academe-etc all linked interests these days). And it crossed my mind given the way web services work, the dominance of a very few technologies (eg Facebook objects, Zoom etc) to everything we do, the ubiquity of something like Zoom (and I imagine an embedded component), and also the seeming breakdown in previous highly trusted behaviour by many of our technologies (OS, broswers, phones, the core of the Internet actually), geopolitics, you name it, how easy it would be to embed a video surveillance object into almost everything. I know thats not new. I'm sure they have been doing it for a long time. But it was just a dream last night. You know what brought it on was the creepy eyes people have started putting into media photos (must be new tech) - so the eyes are real/creepy enough to seem to be looking at you through your screen. Thats kind of what brought me there last night

I've had a lifetime in tech and go back (for the younger among you) to pre-Internet, pre-Web, pre-PC, pre-mobile Phone. And actually in those days I trusted almost everyone. These days I wouldnt trust most of the characters as far as I could throw them, which isnt far any more, I'm getting older

Last but not least. I have an important meeting in 5 minutes. It cannot be seprated from geopolitics and what has happened this year and the massive powers and how they weild them. Many of them do it without any care or interest in the rights of the individual over any aspect of their lives. Otherwise Covid would never have happened
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#7 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 04:18

View Postthepossum, on 2020-November-28, 02:54, said:

I'm curious (also as someone with experience in IT and politics) how this can be achieved without a totally fascist or other authoritarian type state

What I (and I am sure many others) actually have a right to know is. Just because I signed up for BBO and the occasional ACBL tournament (to get better quality hands and play) whether there are people arrogant enough to think they have a right to pry on my private life, where I sit and play on my computer or on my phone.

Thats all I am asking. Simple question to those obnoxious and arrogant to think they can intrude into every area of our lives

If anyone else is wondering, those proposing such surveillance have just been given the FU in every direction I can imagine them watching from

I think a bit of clarification is required before this goes any further. Oh why I mention it is I imagine they will do studies and find that after they proposed fascistic surveillance of all online bridge fewer people have been playing accredited tournaments - therefore they are cheats QED you ignorant assholes. Sorry for using a rude term I meant Nazis

And no, just because of some small print in an agreement to use an online Bridge site, that does not give you the right to spy on every aspect of someone's life, no matter what BBO or anyone elses' lawyers might say. Apologies to the Lw and everyone in the Law. I mean no disrespect. But I know my rights under any manner of laws and conventions. I don't exactly trust all the institutions with those conventions and how much effort it would be to bring a case but I suggest anyone considering total Bridge surveillance check them out too. To me those rights should not even need to be written down, enshrined in anything, argued in any court. they are basic and unchallengeable human rights

The fact such measures are even countenanced or discussed is a terrifying and sick indictment on the state of the world and the techno-fascists who want to, are trying to or currently rule over us

Seriously all of you. I know there are total fascist out there. But I'm sitting on my mobile phone using the App to play an ACBL tourney. What. You want full observation on me at all times, where I am, whom I am with

Any of you even countenancing that should be ashamed

Ohh that terrible Possum accusing people of fascism or Nazism. You know there is an easy way not to have people suspect it. One is not to act like one.
Secondly maybe dont even talk like one

Seems to me that all the concerns the world has about trust is that those in power misunderstood the direction that trust needs to go

Apologies for jumping into yet another Bridge issue but this whole discussion has been englected in every area of our lives for far too long, and I think given the lack of trust in the techs and all tech-related power (almost everyone these days) it is high time these issues, the means of surveillance available now were discussed widely by the whole world and at every level of power. Its disgusting that it has even reached this stage. Under the pandemic we gave persmissio for a while for some in power to break those rights (for a while). But sersiously. Is nobody else cocnerned about the breadth and extent of control and surveillance over every aspect of our lives. I am not ingorant of power and quite appreciate if the bulk of the world want fascistic control and surveillance its hard to resist but ....

Sorry but the word Law (to me at least) applies to rights in every area of our lives

I actually had something of a dream, a nightmare or maybe a musing last night. Recently I have been getting very creeped out by certain things going on on various platforms. Lets take Facebook for example (not singling out at all) and certain creepy things I have observed with the way it behaves, changes to certain embedded objects and media (ie big media-tech-data-academe-etc all linked interests these days). And it crossed my mind given the way web services work, the dominance of a very few technologies (eg Facebook objects, Zoom etc) to everything we do, the ubiquity of something like Zoom (and I imagine an embedded component), and also the seeming breakdown in previous highly trusted behaviour by many of our technologies (OS, broswers, phones, the core of the Internet actually), geopolitics, you name it, how easy it would be to embed a video surveillance object into almost everything. I know thats not new. I'm sure they have been doing it for a long time. But it was just a dream last night. You know what brought it on was the creepy eyes people have started putting into media photos (must be new tech) - so the eyes are real/creepy enough to seem to be looking at you through your screen. Thats kind of what brought me there last night

I've had a lifetime in tech and go back (for the younger among you) to pre-Internet, pre-Web, pre-PC, pre-mobile Phone. And actually in those days I trusted almost everyone. These days I wouldnt trust most of the characters as far as I could throw them, which isnt far any more, I'm getting older

Last but not least. I have an important meeting in 5 minutes. It cannot be seprated from geopolitics and what has happened this year and the massive powers and how they weild them. Many of them do it without any care or interest in the rights of the individual over any aspect of their lives. Otherwise Covid would never have happened

Precisely why for me online bridge is no substitute for face to face bridge.
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#8 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 05:18

View Postthepossum, on 2020-November-28, 02:54, said:

I'm curious (also as someone with experience in IT and politics) how this can be achieved without a totally fascist or other authoritarian type state



At the most basic level, what is happening here is being done by a company rather than a state, so I think that that this part of the analogy falls flat.

Equally significant, what's being discussed isn't anywhere near as intrusive as actions that are currently taken by Internet Service Providers, ECommerce sites, and the like. Actions that these companies routinely dwarf anything that is being discussed here.

Furthermore, the efforts that are going on right now represent the status quo. People are being bit more efficient about data mining, but (almost) all of this information has been publically available for years.

The major change that is underway is that people are starting to assert privacy rights under the GDPR so you'll probably be moving into an opt in type system in which players are better able to make an informed decision whether or not to participate (and have their data shared)

And, last but not least, the most extreme surveillance type systems are being discussed in the context of elite events and almost certainly won't bleed down to the rest of the game.
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#9 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 05:22

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-November-28, 05:18, said:

At the most basic level, what is happening here is being done by a company rather than a state, so I think that that this part of the analogy falls flat.

Equally significant, what's being discussed isn't anywhere near as intrusive as actions that are currently taken by Internet Service Providers, ECommerce sites, and the like. Actions that these companies routinely dwarf anything that is being discussed here.

Furthermore, the efforts that are going on right now represent the status quo. People are being bit more efficient about data mining, but (almost) all of this information has been publically available for years.

The major change that is underway is that people are starting to assert privacy rights under the GDPR so you'll probably be moving into an opt in type system in which players are better able to make an informed decision whether or not to participate (and have their data shared)

And, last but not least, the most extreme surveillance type systems are being discussed in the context of elite events and almost certainly won't bleed down to the rest of the game.


Thanks for the clarification Richard. Sometimes the authorities and corporations in this world do themselves a disservice
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#10 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 05:45

View Postpran, on 2020-November-28, 04:18, said:

Precisely why for me online bridge is no substitute for face to face bridge.


I agree. But from what I can see online technologies of so many kinds this year in particular are being used as an attack on the privacy in all our lives
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#11 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 06:41

View Postthepossum, on 2020-November-28, 05:22, said:

Sometimes the authorities and corporations in this world do themselves a disservice


FWIW, I strongly favor a world in which individuals are able to assert property rights over the personal data.

For example: I don't think that super markets should be able to sell individual's purchasing patterns to insurance companies.
I don't think that Amazon should be able to track your purchasing patterns and sell this information to marketing companies.

Or, more precisely, I think that individual should be able to make and informed decision whether to sell this information and get a piece of the action.

It will be interesting to see what comes to pass here.

With respect to PII and bridge:

For the most part, I think that making board results, hand records, and information about bidding and play public is completely consistent with the way in which the game has been played for decades upon decades. I see nothing wrong with continuing this (and making it easier and more systematized).

I think that information about IP addresses and the like is a bit more dicey and would prefer to see some restrictions placed on sharing this.

And, I think that players should always have to option to play anonymously (at the same time, event organizers should have the option to restrict their games)
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#12 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 13:12

The core problem with online bridge is Bridge Law 73 which imposes restrictions on the players to what extent they may share information with their partners during play.

In face to face bridge these restrictions are supervised automatically simply by the presence of the players themselves, a supervision that obviously cannot be perfect, but has proven acceptable for any card game during centuries.

Playing card games online changes this completely, and there is (to my knowledge) no practical way to prevent even the simplest methods of cheating by exchanging unauthorized information between cooperating players.
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#13 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-November-28, 14:23

View Postpran, on 2020-November-28, 13:12, said:

The core problem with online bridge is Bridge Law 73 which imposes restrictions on the players to what extent they may share information with their partners during play.

I don't agree at all, unless by "online" bridge you mean uncontrolled electronic play as opposed to controlled play in high level venues.
The problems with high level players this year were able to occur because they were playing at home without controls and often with kibitzing in realtime enabled by the organisers too.
The core "problem" of electronic bridge is that it opens up new possibilities for the game which require new and better laws.

View Postpran, on 2020-November-28, 13:12, said:

In face to face bridge these restrictions are supervised automatically simply by the presence of the players themselves, a supervision that obviously cannot be perfect, but has proven acceptable for any card game during centuries.

If you reread BridgeWinners I think you will find that few people found the observance of Law 73 acceptable in face to face bridge either in 2019 or with respect to the previous decades.

View Postpran, on 2020-November-28, 13:12, said:

Playing card games online changes this completely, and there is (to my knowledge) no practical way to prevent even the simplest methods of cheating by exchanging unauthorized information between cooperating players.

Some means to prevent cheating during organized electronic competition are outlined in the discussion above and many similar discussions. You have read them many times, yet failed to address their merit. I doubt they would be less effective than the traditional safeguard of observations and accusations by opponents face to face (or face to screen).
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Posted 2020-November-28, 17:57

View Postthepossum, on 2020-November-28, 02:54, said:

I'm curious (also as someone with experience in IT and politics) how this can be achieved without a totally fascist or other authoritarian type state

What I (and I am sure many others) actually have a right to know is. Just because I signed up for BBO and the occasional ACBL tournament (to get better quality hands and play) whether there are people arrogant enough to think they have a right to pry on my private life, where I sit and play on my computer or on my phone.

Thats all I am asking. Simple question to those obnoxious and arrogant to think they can intrude into every area of our lives

If anyone else is wondering, those proposing such surveillance have just been given the FU in every direction I can imagine them watching from

I think a bit of clarification is required before this goes any further. Oh why I mention it is I imagine they will do studies and find that after they proposed fascistic surveillance of all online bridge fewer people have been playing accredited tournaments - therefore they are cheats QED you ignorant assholes. Sorry for using a rude term I meant Nazis

And no, just because of some small print in an agreement to use an online Bridge site, that does not give you the right to spy on every aspect of someone's life, no matter what BBO or anyone elses' lawyers might say. Apologies to the Lw and everyone in the Law. I mean no disrespect. But I know my rights under any manner of laws and conventions. I don't exactly trust all the institutions with those conventions and how much effort it would be to bring a case but I suggest anyone considering total Bridge surveillance check them out too. To me those rights should not even need to be written down, enshrined in anything, argued in any court. they are basic and unchallengeable human rights

The fact such measures are even countenanced or discussed is a terrifying and sick indictment on the state of the world and the techno-fascists who want to, are trying to or currently rule over us

Seriously all of you. I know there are total fascist out there. But I'm sitting on my mobile phone using the App to play an ACBL tourney. What. You want full observation on me at all times, where I am, whom I am with

Any of you even countenancing that should be ashamed

Ohh that terrible Possum accusing people of fascism or Nazism. You know there is an easy way not to have people suspect it. One is not to act like one.
Secondly maybe dont even talk like one

Seems to me that all the concerns the world has about trust is that those in power misunderstood the direction that trust needs to go

Apologies for jumping into yet another Bridge issue but this whole discussion has been englected in every area of our lives for far too long, and I think given the lack of trust in the techs and all tech-related power (almost everyone these days) it is high time these issues, the means of surveillance available now were discussed widely by the whole world and at every level of power. Its disgusting that it has even reached this stage. Under the pandemic we gave persmissio for a while for some in power to break those rights (for a while). But sersiously. Is nobody else cocnerned about the breadth and extent of control and surveillance over every aspect of our lives. I am not ingorant of power and quite appreciate if the bulk of the world want fascistic control and surveillance its hard to resist but ....

Sorry but the word Law (to me at least) applies to rights in every area of our lives

I actually had something of a dream, a nightmare or maybe a musing last night. Recently I have been getting very creeped out by certain things going on on various platforms. Lets take Facebook for example (not singling out at all) and certain creepy things I have observed with the way it behaves, changes to certain embedded objects and media (ie big media-tech-data-academe-etc all linked interests these days). And it crossed my mind given the way web services work, the dominance of a very few technologies (eg Facebook objects, Zoom etc) to everything we do, the ubiquity of something like Zoom (and I imagine an embedded component), and also the seeming breakdown in previous highly trusted behaviour by many of our technologies (OS, broswers, phones, the core of the Internet actually), geopolitics, you name it, how easy it would be to embed a video surveillance object into almost everything. I know thats not new. I'm sure they have been doing it for a long time. But it was just a dream last night. You know what brought it on was the creepy eyes people have started putting into media photos (must be new tech) - so the eyes are real/creepy enough to seem to be looking at you through your screen. Thats kind of what brought me there last night

I've had a lifetime in tech and go back (for the younger among you) to pre-Internet, pre-Web, pre-PC, pre-mobile Phone. And actually in those days I trusted almost everyone. These days I wouldnt trust most of the characters as far as I could throw them, which isnt far any more, I'm getting older

Last but not least. I have an important meeting in 5 minutes. It cannot be seprated from geopolitics and what has happened this year and the massive powers and how they weild them. Many of them do it without any care or interest in the rights of the individual over any aspect of their lives. Otherwise Covid would never have happened


You really have no idea what fascism is do you? It's got F all to do with surveillance or even control of the populace.
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#15 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2020-November-29, 02:53

That there is a problem with cheating in online bridge, is certain. This week the Dutch union created a page on the net where you can report possible cheating. That was unthinkable in off line bridge.
You can take precautions as pescetom mentions, but that’s only feasible in high level bridge. When you’re being paid a decent sum, there should be the necessary measures to protect the other players and sponsors. The real problem is the clash between the necessary observation of the players and their right to privacy. Nobody wants to be watched in their private environment, certainly not when enjoying a simple game of bridge. But they want everyone involved to be honest, not cheating consciously nor unconsciously. The latter happens a lot, in off line bridge too, especially at the lower levels.
My conclusion: you can have competitive online bridge at the highest level with all necessary precautions, but otherwise online bridge is for those who don’t mind a bit of cheating, because they see it as a non-competitive pastime. I’m not one of those, so I don’t play online.
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