Hey peeps, I have been asked by Paul to give a general explanation on why the security changes got introduced to the site. Around June 2008 we got a report that an older aged member was making innappropriate contact with young members on the site. After an investigation we found that these reports were proven to be true and the member in question had made some pretty serious advances on various members. This incident was reported both to police and the site owners who both reviewed what we had found for themselves. We can't give any further details on this as it is now a closed matter and the members affected by this will not wish to have the event revealed to the whole forum. Once the member had been banned the site owners approached us and originally requested that all features on the site that allowed private communication (including private messages and the chat room) were removed from the forum. This was rejected by the staff and we later came to the agreement that an application process was needed so that the features could remain. This was verified both by the lawyers who work for the owners and by Paul who made legal enquiries about it too. The features that are set up now are essential if the owners are to keep EC open. It's very easy to complain about how restricting they are, unfair etc but without them there would be no forum for you to complain about it on. We aren't introducing them to be awkward and make it difficult for members to settle in. They are just needed if we wish EC to remain open for you all, and this way is the safest we can get without removing any site features for everybody. The site owners can't risk being held liable for any problems that may arise out of people not thinking sensibly when they are handing out personal information, and as a result all information that can be used to identify you off this site is not allowed to be posted publicly on here. If anybody does have any questions about these changes then you are welcome to ask. Just don't post here ranting about the changes because it will not achieve anything nor will it make us cave in and undo the changes made last summer. We would rather have a forum that is restricting and benefits a small number of members than have no forum at all.