freenode offers cloaks to our users, which replace one's hostname or IP address in various places with a project affiliation or lack thereof. Many of you will be aware that cloaks on freenode are not offered as a security measure and that various means are available to third parties to see through them.

However, many users acquire cloaks for security/privacy reasons anyway, and we've taken the decision to close some of the more glaring holes in the protection they offer. Please do note that cloaks are still not recommended for hiding a user's IP address.

We have deployed the following changes to ChanServ:

  • AKICK DEL no longer removes bans against the host behind a cloak
  • WHY no longers considers host-based access
  • UNQUIET no longer unquiets nicks that aren't on the target channel

Empirically, these are corner cases that don't often come into play when managing a channel. However, if you need assistance with something that these commands used to do, feel free—as always—to contact staff at any time.

While bans against IP addresses continue to apply to cloaked users, we intend to revise this behaviour in the future due to its privacy implications.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask either #freenode or any available member of staff.