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Europeans and others: Here’s How We Can Fight the ToU More Effectively
Posted September 11th, 2012 - 3:14 pm from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 3:39 pm from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 3:49 pm from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 3:58 pm from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 10:23 pm from Bielefeld, Germany
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 7:37 am from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 9:04 am by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 8:59 am from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 9:06 am by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 9:08 am by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
Italian translation (a few arguments added):





Egregio sig. Garante,


in qualità di uno degli oltre due milioni e mezzo di utenti europei del network
couchsurfing.org, sono molto preoccupato per i recenti cambi delle norme
di utilizzo che entreranno in vigore il 14 settembre 2012. Queste norme
sono direttamente in contrasto con la Direttiva 95/46/EC e con il
U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor Agreement.


Benché io sappia che CouchSurfing International Inc. non ha uffici
all'interno dell'Unione Europea, richiedo la vostra immediata assistenza
attraverso i vostri canali di comunicazione per mettere al corrente le
autorità statunitensi di questa minaccia ai diritti dei cittadini
europei.


CoushSurfing è stato per sette anni un network non-profit di scambio di
ospitalità e una comunità basata sulla fiducia. Fidandosi dell'esplicita
assicurazione dei fondatori che CouchSurfing sarebbe sempre rimasta
un'entità non-profit e caritatevole, e incoraggiati dal management,
cinque milioni di utenti e di volontari hanno contribuito gratuitamente
donando denaro, lavoro, ospitalità, tempo, talento e, non ultimo, dati
personali di grande valore e accuratezza, producendo in tal modo gran
parte del valore attuale del network.


Nell'agosto del 2011 i fondatori hanno improvvisamente annunciato che il
sito era stato convertito in una 'corporation' commerciale for-profit, e
venduto a investitori esterni. CouchSurfing International Inc. ha
annunciato, intorno al 31 agosto 2012, le nuove 'Terms of Use' and
'Privacy Policy'.


Secondo queste norme di utilizzo—che contrastano in parte con la stessa
'Privacy Policy'—tutti i membri che si collegheranno al servizio dopo il
13 settembre 2012, rinunciano completamente ai propri diritti come
descritti nella Direttiva 95/46/EC e, tra l'altro, garantiscono a
CouchSurfing International Inc. il diritto illimitato, perpetuo,
irrevocabile di usare, distribuire, vendere o modificare per qualsiasi
scopo il proprio nome, aspetto, identità, incluse informazioni, foto,
messaggi, referenze e tutto quanto sia mai stato caricato sul sito.
Questo vale anche per contenuto 'cancellato' in passato, ivi comprese
e-mail inviate attraverso il sistema. Non esiste infatti un modo di
cancellare dati dal sistema, questi vengono infatti immagazzinati
indefinitamente, e l'account può solamente essere 'disattivato'.


Una volta accettati questi termini, non è concesso ritirare questo
consenso. I membri devono inoltre accettare che i termini possano essere
cambiati da CouchSurfing in qualunque momento senza preavviso e con
effetto immediato, portando alla situazione paradossale in cui
CouchSurfing International Inc. può fare un po' come gli pare, senza
dover seguire le norme da loro stessi dettate.


Tutto ciò può essere ritenuto sleale, ingannevole, non-trasparente e fraudolento.


Si noti in particolare che:

1) il consenso non è esplicito ed inequivocabile, ma viene dato
semplicemente collegandosi al sito a partire dal 14 settembre 2012;

2) le finalità del trattamento dei dati non sono in alcun modo indicate (si dice anzi esplicitamente 'per qualunque finalità');

3) i dati vengono conservati per un arco di tempo indefinito (licenza 'perpetua' ed 'irrevocabile');

4) CouchSurfing può passare o vendere tale licenza a qualsivoglia
soggetto terzo senza bisogno di informare i membri interessati.


In calce aggiungo degli estratti dalle 'Terms of Use' e dalla 'Privacy Policy'. L'originale è disponibile ai seguenti link:


http://www.couchsurfing.org/new_terms.html

http://www.couchsurfing.org/new_privacy.html


Vi prego di tenermi informato sugli sviluppi della questione.




Grazie per la vostra attenzione.







Allegati:


Estratto dalle «Terms of Use»


We reserve the right to make changes or modifications to these Terms, or
any policy or guideline of our Services, at any time and in our sole
discretion. In the event of any conflict between these Terms and any
other policy or guideline of our Services, these Terms will govern. Any
changes or modifications will be effective immediately upon posting the
revisions on our Services, and you waive any right you may have to
receive specific notice of such changes or modifications. Your continued
use of our Services following the posting of changes or modifications
will constitute your acceptance of such changes or modifications.
Accordingly, you should frequently review these Terms and applicable
policies and guidelines to understand the terms and conditions that
apply to your use of the Services.


1. ... You agree to ... (b) provide accurate, truthful, current and
complete information when creating an account; (c) maintain and promptly
update your account information;...and (f) take responsibility for all
activities that occur under your account and accept all risks of any
authorized or unauthorized access.

...

5.1 ...we may, in our sole discretion, edit, remove or delete any Member Content without notice.

...

5.3 ... If you post Member Content to our Services, you hereby grant us a
perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free and
fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt,
modify, create derivative works from, distribute, have distributed and
promote such Member Content in any form, in all media now known or
hereinafter created and for any purpose, including without limitation
the right to use your name, likeness, voice or identity. You represent
and warrant that ... (b) the Member Content is accurate and not
misleading...

...

13. We may, in our discretion and without liability to you, with or
without cause ..., with or without prior notice and at any time:
(a)terminate your access to our Services, (b) deactivate or delete your
account and all related information and files in such account and/or (c)
bar your access to any of such files or Services.

...

16.2. We do not represent or warrant that ... (c) any information that
you may obtain through our services will be accurate or reliable; ...
(e) any information you provide or we collect will not be disclosed to
third parties...

...

21.5 ... CouchSurfing may assign any or all of its rights under these
Terms, in whole or in part, without obtaining your consent or approval.





Estratto dalla «Privacy Policy»


We also collect information about you from other CouchSurfing users,
such as trust ratings, friend connections, public references and other
interconnections and interactions between you and other CouchSurfing
users.

...

Information We Collect Automatically From You: Location Information,
Device Information, Log Information, Information Collected by Cookies
and other Tracking Technologies

...

We may also obtain information from other sources and combine that with information we collect through our Services.


...we may use information about you to:

...

· Communicate with you about products, services, offers, promotions,
rewards and events and provide other news and information about
CouchSurfing and our select partners;

...

· Personalize the Services, which may include providing content or features that match user profiles or interests;

· Process and deliver contest entries and rewards; and

· Link or combine with other information we get from third parties to
help understand your needs and provide you with better service.


By accessing or using the Services, you consent to the processing and
transfer of information in and to the United States and other countries.


We do not share personal information about you with third parties except as follows:

· With your consent, including if we notify you through our Services
that the information you provide will be shared in a particular manner
and you provide such information;

· With third party vendors, consultants and other service providers who
need access to such information to carry out their work for us;

...

· With partners who run contests, special offers or other events or activities in connection with our Services;

· In connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of
company assets, financing or acquisition of all or a portion of our
business to another company; and

· If we believe that disclosure is reasonably necessary...


...

You may opt out of receiving promotional emails from CouchSurfing by
following the instructions in those emails or by adjusting the
appropriate settings in your profile.

Posted September 12th, 2012 - 10:39 am from Uppsala, Sweden
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 12:45 pm from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 1:18 pm from Tuzla, Turkey
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 1:27 pm by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
@Railslide: CS owns both domains .org and .com, and they changed long time ago putting «.org» as the default one (that was explicitly changed to better suit the non-profit nature of CS, go figures). If you visit couchsurfing.com you got redirected here.


@Tiger: actually «Garante per la protezione dei dati personali» is the title of the guy, like one would say «Mr. President». Of course in the hurry of translating and sending the thing I have forgot to write the whole title, so it looks like a name.

They will understand, don't worry ;-)

As I live in Germany now, I am going to write to the German office too.

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 10:03 am by from Loerrach, Germany (Permalink)
Just got an answer from the German BfDI:



Sehr geehrte [...],


Vielen Dank für Ihre Eingabe. Wir haben die von Ihnen geschilderte Situation mit Besorgnis zur Kenntnis genommen.


Leider ist es dem Bundesbeauftragten für den Datenschutz und die
Informationsfreiheit ("BfDI") nach der aktuellen Rechtslage nicht
möglich, gegen das Unternehmen CouchSurfing International, Inc.
vorzugehen. Da CouchSurfing International, Inc. seinen Sitz in den USA
hat und über keine Niederlassungen in Deutschland oder einem anderen
Mitgliedstaat der Europäischen Union verfügt, findet das deutsche bzw.
europäische Datenschutzrecht keine Anwendung. Der BfDI hat jedoch in
einem Schreiben die für die Datenschutzaufsicht zuständige US-Behörde,
die Federal Trade Commission, auf die Missstände bei den geänderten
Nutzungs- und Datenschutzbestimmungen von CouchSurfing hingewiesen.


Im Übrigen verweise ich auf die hierzu veröffentliche Pressemitteilung des BfDI, einzusehen unter http://www.bfdi.bund.de/DE/Oeffentlichkeitsarbeit/Pressemitteilungen/2012/18_CouchSurfing.html?nn=408908.




Mit freundlichen Grüßen




Kathrin Klemmer

----------------


Referat ZA

Der Bundesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz und die Informationsfreiheit

Husarenstr. 30

53117 Bonn



... that is something, at least. Not overly helpful, but they seem to be aware of the problem.

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 10:42 am from Berlin, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 10:51 am from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 12:51 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 12:52 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 11:01 am by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
The statement from the German federal government makes it clear the new ToU is not legal in Europe. Since the ToU expressively says CS members CANNOT accept the ToU in countries where it is illegal, we now know that no European can be a member of CouchSurfing.

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 11:04 am from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 11:24 am by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
My understanding is that European law does apply, there is simply no mechanism for enforcing it.

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 11:59 am from Utrecht, Netherlands
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 12:22 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 10:44 am by from Vrsac, Serbia (Permalink)
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 12:44 pm from Tuzla, Turkey
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 7:45 pm by from Dragoer, Denmark (Permalink)
Thanks for the guide. I have done mine.

Seems to me however our only response should be to ditch CS. These social networking sites are geared towards exploiting our laws and gradually taking away our rights to privacy. This is the way we are headed and the only response that will hurt them and perhaps make them listen is if we ditch their technology in greater numbers.

I know some have spend years building and gaining a good rep here. But we should value our rights to privacy higher than that.

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 3:29 pm from Cologne, Germany
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Posted September 14th, 2012 - 9:41 pm by from Guenzburg, Germany (Permalink)
Hi Du, sag, gibt's diesen Text auch auf Deutsch für unsere Regierungsstelle? Wäre komisch, wenn ich denen als Deutsche in Englisch schreibe...
Liebe Grüße - und vielen Dank für die Arbeit und Mühe, die Du Dir bisher für uns bzgl. dieser Geschichte gemacht hast - finde ich super!
Birgit

Posted September 14th, 2012 - 9:53 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
Sehr schönen deutschen Text gibt es dank SalsaTiger und dpa seit gestern in jeder guten Zeitung und auf jeder guten Nachrichtenwebseite. Zum Beispiel:

http://www.zeit.de/digital/datenschutz/2012-09/couchsurfing-nutzungsbedingungen-datenschutz

http://www.welt.de/print/welt_kompakt/webwelt/article109206783/Backpacker-Netzwerk-Couchsurfing-in-der-Kritik.html

http://www.fr-online.de/digital/datenschutz-couchsurfing-will-nutzerdaten-weitergeben,1472406,17241654.html

Posted September 14th, 2012 - 10:37 pm from Augsburg, Germany
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 4:07 pm from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 6:03 pm from Barcelona, Spain
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 9:02 am from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 11:08 pm from Basel, Switzerland
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 11:27 pm from Vienna, Austria
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Posted September 11th, 2012 - 11:44 pm from Basel, Switzerland
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 6:50 am from Lyon, France
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 11:44 am from Toulouse, France
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 12:11 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 12:51 pm from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 2:35 pm from Brasilia, Brazil
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 2:44 pm from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 12th, 2012 - 9:25 pm by from Rome, Italy (Permalink)
thank u for the advice

Posted September 12th, 2012 - 9:49 pm from Berlin, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 12:23 am by from Auckland, New Zealand (Permalink)
Hi Tiger,what about the Pacific,Aussie & NZ,cheers Lozo

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 12:33 am from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 4:19 am from Brasilia, Brazil
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 6:19 am by from Paris, France (Permalink)
That is a good question which I have asked myself, too, and I came to the conclusion that in the spirit of CS it would be anything submitted to them, in any way, whether by message, post, in a conversation , with a racing pigeon or in any other way.

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 7:29 am by from Berlin, Germany (Permalink)
«it won´t be much of a difference from Sep 14th onwards, except (catchy), the addition of "sublicensing"»

Well, sublicensing means CS can sell or pass the user content to a third part, who then gets the same rights. It seems to me quite an important difference.

The other small difference, is that in the new ToU you give them the right to use «without limitation your likeness, voice and identity.»

I can't wait to see CS use my identity for whatever reason they see fit ;-)

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 8:32 am from Aachen, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 7:03 am from Royken, Norway
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 7:43 am from Clermont-Ferrand, France
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 10:54 am by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
My memory is that Casey Fenton said there was no relationship. Fenton is not a rare name.

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 12:02 pm from Vienna, Austria
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 12:24 pm from Cologne, Germany
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Posted September 13th, 2012 - 7:02 pm by from Loerrach, Germany (Permalink)
I got this answer, when I voiced my concerns yesterday:

"Thank you for writing in to us about the recent changes to our Terms of
Use and Privacy Policy. The reason for these changes are to keep up with
legal developments here in the United States, as well as to make sure
that our policies cover all of the new features that we are planning to
introduce to the CouchSurfing community.


Changing them specifically for Europe is currently not an option.

Feel free to email us back at policies@couchsurfing.com.

Happy Surfing!

Florian
Adelaide, Australia"

...

Posted September 13th, 2012 - 7:32 pm from Cologne, Germany
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Posted September 14th, 2012 - 5:59 am from Macau, China
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Posted September 14th, 2012 - 7:14 am by from Dijon, France (Permalink)
Interesting to note they have dropped the claim that their Terms are just like everyone else's.

Interesting also that they claim their action is limited by US law, but they are apparently hoping that law will change in their favor, because they won't state those alleged limitations in their Terms.

Also interesting is the continued claim that it is not the Terms which are important - ie what the Terms actually say - but rather their "assurances" that they will not follow the terms, but rather apply more restrictive rules.

And if they are in fact going to accept the Safe Harbour rules, that should already be part of the Terms. This sounds like the false assurances they have offered in the past, only to latter announce something completely different.

If they claim the Terms are a binding contract, they must include the entire contract.

Posted September 14th, 2012 - 10:51 am from Florence, Italy
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Posted September 15th, 2012 - 12:58 pm from Basel, Switzerland
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Posted September 15th, 2012 - 1:10 pm from Basel, Switzerland
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Posted September 20th, 2012 - 10:47 am from Paris, France
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Posted October 15th, 2012 - 9:57 am by from Leipzig, Germany (Permalink)
So there has been a lot of arguing because of the ToU but it seems to be quite quiet now. Are there any news about the topic? In my opinion it would be a really bad sign if we are quiet now. If I imagine the people who are responsible for the new ToU I imagine people that think

Let's do it. Nobody will notice because we do not tell them. And if somebody notices it they will scream and shout for some days but then they will forget and we can do what we want.

WE MUST NOT FORGET
WE MUST NOT BE QUIET

Posted October 15th, 2012 - 2:23 pm from Vienna, Austria
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Posted October 15th, 2012 - 3:42 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
"WE MUST NOT BE QUIET"

Hang in there guys, news should be coming soon. Meanwhile, there are lots of easy things you can do, such as using the profile and profile photo to raise awareness for the issues, and get un"verified" by slightly modifying the registered address.

Posted October 15th, 2012 - 11:49 pm from Locarno, Switzerland
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Posted October 16th, 2012 - 9:40 am by from Faro, Portugal (Permalink)
I can do the portuguese one! will start this afternoon and post in all and every portuguese language foruns.

Posted October 18th, 2012 - 9:51 pm by from Helsinki, Finland (Permalink)
I did also Finnish information and link here, hope that somebody understands what is going on and being careful what he/she adds to the profile.

Posted October 24th, 2012 - 12:46 pm by from Vienna, Austria (Permalink)
The new "terms of use", and "pirvacy policy", as linked in the suggested additional information for the FTC complaint are gone from the CS website.

As far as I have heard, the implementation of the new terms have been postponed.

On other words, the text for the FTc complaint is outdated. Could you please update it?
I would like ot file my complaint!

Reagrds,

-Roman

Posted October 24th, 2012 - 2:01 pm by from Paris, France (Permalink)
The terms and policy were implemented on September 21st, then underwent further changes on October 10th. The current terms and policies are linked from the bottom of all webpages. Complaints should relate to these documents and point out that these practices are unfair and deceptive.

Posted October 24th, 2012 - 2:27 pm by from Vienna, Austria (Permalink)
Thanky you!!

Posted November 14th, 2012 - 10:31 pm from Rockchapel, Ireland (Republic of)
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Posted December 10th, 2012 - 2:32 am from Zeist, Netherlands
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