[Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] The Signpost -- Volume 10, Issue 24 -- 25 June 2014

2014-06-29 Thread Wikipedia Signpost
Exclusive: Foundation's new executive director speaks to the ''Signpost''
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-06-25/Exclusive

News and notes: US National Archives enshrines Wikipedia in Open Government 
Plan, plans to upload all holdings to Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-06-25/News_and_notes

Featured content: Showing our ''Wörth''
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-06-25/Featured_content

WikiProject report: The world where dreams come true
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-06-25/WikiProject_report

Discussion report: Media Viewer, old HTML tags
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-06-25/Discussion_report

Traffic report: Fake war, or real sport?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-06-25/Traffic_report

Recent research: Power users and diversity in WikiProjects, the network of 
cultures in multilingual Wikipedia biographies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-06-25/Recent_research


Single page view
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Signpost/Single

PDF version
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-06-25


https://www.facebook.com/wikisignpost / https://twitter.com/wikisignpost
--
Wikipedia Signpost Staff
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open Letter to Lila Regarding Access to Non-Public Information Policy

2014-06-29 Thread Pine W
Trillium,

I am having difficulty understanding how retaining copies of possibly
forged identification documents helps anyone with holding accountable any
rogue functionary or OTRS user. Can you explain that please? Surely someone
who intends to misuse the tools will be smart enough to forge an
identification document. Even in the United States, forging identification
documents is not impossible, and the police occasionally catch people
creating such documents.

Pine


On Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 7:42 AM, Trillium Corsage trillium2...@yandex.com
wrote:

 @Nathan

 You said so if you want to argue that such users should be positively
 identified, then please make some practical suggestions (which you have
 conspicuously avoided doing so far). How should identities be confirmed? In
 what circumstances should the ID information be disclosed, and to whom?
 What, fundamentally, is the usefulness in collecting this information to
 begin with? What are the use cases in which it is necessary?

 It would be a good faith evaluation of the copy of the identification
 document provided. There's no need to be quarrelsome about the practical
 suggestions I've conspicuously avoided. I did at least suggest a secure
 filing cabinet and making use of a removable hard-drive. As to the precise
 criteria by which an identification document is deemed good enough, I'd
 suppose those would be developed on a good faith basis by the action
 officer. Nobody is depending on perfection by that individual. The
 principle would be that the document appears genuine, has the minimum
 elements settled on by the policy (name, age, address, possibly other
 elements). If the document is in a foreign language, say Swahili, and the
 WMF person can't read that, I would think it would be a do the best you
 can and file it by respective Wikipedia and username. None of these are
 insurmountable obstacles. The answer to this is hard is not well, let's
 just stop doing it. The answer is this is important, let's just do the
 best we can.

 I have called for a basic examination of the document, not any
 verification process. I'd suppose if the document looked suspect in some
 way, then a telephone call or follow-up could be done, and that would be a
 verification, but I would expect that to be the exception, not the rule.
 Again, these details would be settled by the hands-on person, not by me
 attempting to write a ten-page standard operating procedure while Nathan
 zings me with what are your specifics on the mailing list.

 What is the usefulness in collecting this information to begin with?
 Well, I thought the premise here was obvious. It was obvious enough to
 those that crafted the previous policy in the first place. It establishes
 some level of accountability to those individuals accorded access to the
 personally-identifying information of editors. Personal accountability
 encourages acting with self-control and restraint. With apologies to the
 other person that responded, anonymity encourages a care-free and
 unrestricted handling of that data, and in fact to some of these people it
 indeed yields a MMORPG (multimedia online roleplaying game) environment,
 and they will do whatever they want, because they are free from
 accountability.

 The other key aspect of usefulness is to the rank and file editors. They
 will feel better knowing that if some creepazoid or cyberbully starts going
 over their IPs, and of course Googling and otherwise sleuthing for more on
 them, that at least the WMF knows who they are, and the rank and file
 editor potentially has some recourse if it finally comes to it. So I say
 the usefulness there is treating editors right and furnishing a safer
 environment for them, in which they are not so exposed to anonymous
 administrators.

 Thank you for your response.

 Trillium Corsage (by the way although Trillium is a type of flower, I am
 in fact a dude. So please use male pronouns if it occurs to you. It was
 just an email address I picked sort of randomly and then I ran with it as
 pseudonym).
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open Letter to Lila Regarding Access to Non-Public Information Policy

2014-06-29 Thread pajz
Trillium, while I sympathise with several of the points you're making, the
Board has approved the current version of the policy. In light of this,
your insinuation that the Executive Director could simply alter the policy
to her liking seems somewhat far-fetched. Just because staff have not yet
implemented the new version doesn't mean they can just make it disappear.

Nathan, several suggestions have been made how identities can be confirmed.
The proponents of the now-enacted laissez-faire policy continuously suggest
that the Foundation would have had to reinvent the wheel here. However, all
sorts of organizations need to confirm the identity of individuals. Just
look at how banks do it. In Switzerland, you can make a copy of your ID and
have it certified by your post office, then mail it to the WMF along with
your signed confidentiality agreement. In Germany, companies use the
PostIdent process which the WMF can use as well (Austria has something
similar), or you go to a bank and have your signature certified. Canada
Post provides a verification service, etc. And what if there are countries
where no such process is available? What's the issue? These users can still
just copy their passports or IDs. The policy still makes sense if we can't
really be certain of the identity of some volunteers, and this could be
reviewed on a case-by-case basis. It's not like we're talking about an
inordinate amount of people here.

Pine, even if we were merely talking about retaining copies of IDs, the
argument misses that there is not only the potential case of volunteers who
intend to misuse the tools already at the time they are given access. Based
on experience from Wikipedia, the much more likely scenario seems to be
that users are indeed valuable community members when they get access but
later become frustrated / change their personality / ... and only then
start to make trouble. If their identity were confirmed at one point, this
would constrain them for all time to come.



On 29 June 2014 08:31, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:

 Trillium,

 I am having difficulty understanding how retaining copies of possibly
 forged identification documents helps anyone with holding accountable any
 rogue functionary or OTRS user. Can you explain that please? Surely someone
 who intends to misuse the tools will be smart enough to forge an
 identification document. Even in the United States, forging identification
 documents is not impossible, and the police occasionally catch people
 creating such documents.

 Pine


 On Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 7:42 AM, Trillium Corsage trillium2...@yandex.com
 
 wrote:

  @Nathan
 
  You said so if you want to argue that such users should be positively
  identified, then please make some practical suggestions (which you have
  conspicuously avoided doing so far). How should identities be confirmed?
 In
  what circumstances should the ID information be disclosed, and to whom?
  What, fundamentally, is the usefulness in collecting this information to
  begin with? What are the use cases in which it is necessary?
 
  It would be a good faith evaluation of the copy of the identification
  document provided. There's no need to be quarrelsome about the practical
  suggestions I've conspicuously avoided. I did at least suggest a secure
  filing cabinet and making use of a removable hard-drive. As to the
 precise
  criteria by which an identification document is deemed good enough, I'd
  suppose those would be developed on a good faith basis by the action
  officer. Nobody is depending on perfection by that individual. The
  principle would be that the document appears genuine, has the minimum
  elements settled on by the policy (name, age, address, possibly other
  elements). If the document is in a foreign language, say Swahili, and the
  WMF person can't read that, I would think it would be a do the best you
  can and file it by respective Wikipedia and username. None of these are
  insurmountable obstacles. The answer to this is hard is not well,
 let's
  just stop doing it. The answer is this is important, let's just do the
  best we can.
 
  I have called for a basic examination of the document, not any
  verification process. I'd suppose if the document looked suspect in some
  way, then a telephone call or follow-up could be done, and that would be
 a
  verification, but I would expect that to be the exception, not the
 rule.
  Again, these details would be settled by the hands-on person, not by me
  attempting to write a ten-page standard operating procedure while Nathan
  zings me with what are your specifics on the mailing list.
 
  What is the usefulness in collecting this information to begin with?
  Well, I thought the premise here was obvious. It was obvious enough to
  those that crafted the previous policy in the first place. It establishes
  some level of accountability to those individuals accorded access to the
  personally-identifying information of editors. Personal accountability
 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Vietnamese wp above 1 M articles and growing

2014-06-29 Thread Minh Nguyen

On 2014-06-24 04:52, Tanweer Morshed wrote:

That's a great news that the Vietnamese Wikipedia has crossed 1M articles.
What are the significant reasons behind Vietnamese Wikipedia's such growth?
Is it just the usage of such clever Bots (that you have mentioned) or
contribution by the Vietnamese Wikipedians? And actually how does the
Cheer!-bot generate articles? Does it translate articles from English (or
other) Wikipedia? And apart from translating, can it set and maintain
correctly other aspects of Wikisyntax and coding?


A great many of the Vietnamese Wikipedia's recent articles have been 
created automatically using bots, manually with word processors and mail 
merge, or semi-automatically with machine translators like (presumably) 
Google Translator Toolkit. Nonetheless, Cheers!-bot held a moratorium on 
new articles around the million-article mark, so that day was all about 
writing articles the old fashioned way.


Predictably, our bot articles are more infobox than prose. On the other 
hand, they do have correct grammar and wiki syntax, which cannot be said 
for most machine-translated articles, comprehensive as they may be. 
Cheers! is one of our most experienced editors and has done an admirable 
job correcting errors, whereas some machine translator users have 
uploaded incomprehensible articles anonymously, giving us no opportunity 
to engage and educate.


I can't say for certain how Cheers!-bot generates species stubs, but its 
earlier U.S. geographic stubs were translated from the Spanish 
Wikipedia's own bot-created stubs. I'm in the process of cleaning them 
up, translating the occasional Spanish place name to Vietnamese. We're 
also integrating our [[vi:Template:Infobox settlement]] with Wikidata, 
to provide more current information with minimal maintenance. For 
example, see the infobox at [[vi:Loveland, Ohio]], which passes only 
three parameters but provides 18 rows of information.


The surge in bot-created stubs has alarmed some members of the 
Vietnamese Wikipedia community. One frequent theme in our village pump 
is that our depth at [[m:List of Wikipedias]] has fallen from over a 
hundred (one of the highest) to just 15 (one of the lowest) in a few 
years. Even taking the depth metric with a grain of salt, I think this 
observation has led us to a newfound appreciation for edits, 
non-articles, and maybe even authentic, hand-made articles.


More importantly, the million-article milestone has shed a light on our 
seemingly low number of active editors. Some have expressed concern that 
the steadily rising article count has disincentivized readers from 
creating own articles on their own. So we're discussing some changes to 
our main page and messages to better engage potential contributors. 
We've also integrated tightly with VisualEditor -- the sandbox, no such 
article message, and no search results message all send users to 
VisualEditor by default -- hopefully lowering barriers to entry.


None of the Vietnamese Wikipedia's bot operators are interested in 
inflating our article count for the sake of. We care deeply about the 
future of our wiki and the health of its community, and we welcome 
feedback from the community at large.


--
Minh Nguyen
Administrator [[vi:User:Mxn]] [[m:User:Mxn]]


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open Letter to Lila Regarding Access to Non-Public Information Policy

2014-06-29 Thread Risker
Okay, that's enough, Trilliium.  You've now made a personal attack against
an identifiable individual based on gossip and rumour.

Stop.

Risker


On 29 June 2014 10:18, Trillium Corsage trillium2...@yandex.com wrote:

 Pine,

 An analogous argument to the one you're making is: someone who intends to
 rob your home will be able to get in one way or other, so why bother
 locking the doors when you go out. This is not a good argument.

 You're calling into question the reliability of every identification
 document copy ever presented to the WMF by an advanced-rights-seeking
 administrator because a really sophisticated wrongdoer (I dunno, Chinese
 military intelligence, with whom arbitrator Timotheus Canens is said by
 some to be associated?) could make a masterful forgery that beats the
 system. The fact is that 95% of them, I'd suppose, are going to be okay and
 the identification requirement is going to be an effective deterrent to at
 least the casual among the bad apples. And of course, once they've truly
 identified, the personal accountability aspects of it are going to keep in
 line once well-intentioned administrators that might be tempted to go bad
 for some reason.

 Forging identification documents is not impossible is another variation
 of the perfection is not attainable and no policy can be a magical
 solution arguments put forth previously on this mailing list by the WMF's
 deputy general counsel Luis Villa. I've attempted to answer those by
 explaining that you can have a pretty good and effective policy without
 having an infallible one.

 Trillium Corsage

 29.06.2014, 07:32, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com:
  Trillium,
 
  I am having difficulty understanding how retaining copies of possibly
  forged identification documents helps anyone with holding accountable any
  rogue functionary or OTRS user. Can you explain that please? Surely
 someone
  who intends to misuse the tools will be smart enough to forge an
  identification document. Even in the United States, forging
 identification
  documents is not impossible, and the police occasionally catch people
  creating such documents.
 
  Pine
 
  On Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 7:42 AM, Trillium Corsage 
 trillium2...@yandex.com
  wrote:
   @Nathan
 
   You said so if you want to argue that such users should be positively
   identified, then please make some practical suggestions (which you have
   conspicuously avoided doing so far). How should identities be
 confirmed? In
   what circumstances should the ID information be disclosed, and to whom?
   What, fundamentally, is the usefulness in collecting this information
 to
   begin with? What are the use cases in which it is necessary?
 
   It would be a good faith evaluation of the copy of the identification
   document provided. There's no need to be quarrelsome about the
 practical
   suggestions I've conspicuously avoided. I did at least suggest a
 secure
   filing cabinet and making use of a removable hard-drive. As to the
 precise
   criteria by which an identification document is deemed good enough,
 I'd
   suppose those would be developed on a good faith basis by the action
   officer. Nobody is depending on perfection by that individual. The
   principle would be that the document appears genuine, has the minimum
   elements settled on by the policy (name, age, address, possibly other
   elements). If the document is in a foreign language, say Swahili, and
 the
   WMF person can't read that, I would think it would be a do the best
 you
   can and file it by respective Wikipedia and username. None of these
 are
   insurmountable obstacles. The answer to this is hard is not well,
 let's
   just stop doing it. The answer is this is important, let's just do
 the
   best we can.
 
   I have called for a basic examination of the document, not any
   verification process. I'd suppose if the document looked suspect in
 some
   way, then a telephone call or follow-up could be done, and that would
 be a
   verification, but I would expect that to be the exception, not the
 rule.
   Again, these details would be settled by the hands-on person, not by me
   attempting to write a ten-page standard operating procedure while
 Nathan
   zings me with what are your specifics on the mailing list.
 
   What is the usefulness in collecting this information to begin with?
   Well, I thought the premise here was obvious. It was obvious enough to
   those that crafted the previous policy in the first place. It
 establishes
   some level of accountability to those individuals accorded access to
 the
   personally-identifying information of editors. Personal accountability
   encourages acting with self-control and restraint. With apologies to
 the
   other person that responded, anonymity encourages a care-free and
   unrestricted handling of that data, and in fact to some of these
 people it
   indeed yields a MMORPG (multimedia online roleplaying game)
 environment,
   and they will do whatever they want, because 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open Letter to Lila Regarding Access to Non-Public Information Policy

2014-06-29 Thread Austin Hair
On Sun, Jun 29, 2014 at 4:18 PM, Trillium Corsage
trillium2...@yandex.com wrote:
 (I dunno, Chinese military intelligence, with whom arbitrator Timotheus 
 Canens is said by some to be associated?)

Seriously?

I think you've gone on long enough for now. You can come off
moderation when you contribute something to the discussion rather than
attacking others and, dare I say it, just plain ranting.

Austin

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open Letter to Lila Regarding Access to Non-Public Information Policy

2014-06-29 Thread Trillium Corsage
Pine,

An analogous argument to the one you're making is: someone who intends to rob 
your home will be able to get in one way or other, so why bother locking the 
doors when you go out. This is not a good argument.

You're calling into question the reliability of every identification document 
copy ever presented to the WMF by an advanced-rights-seeking administrator 
because a really sophisticated wrongdoer (I dunno, Chinese military 
intelligence, with whom arbitrator Timotheus Canens is said by some to be 
associated?) could make a masterful forgery that beats the system. The fact is 
that 95% of them, I'd suppose, are going to be okay and the identification 
requirement is going to be an effective deterrent to at least the casual among 
the bad apples. And of course, once they've truly identified, the personal 
accountability aspects of it are going to keep in line once well-intentioned 
administrators that might be tempted to go bad for some reason. 

Forging identification documents is not impossible is another variation of 
the perfection is not attainable and no policy can be a magical solution 
arguments put forth previously on this mailing list by the WMF's deputy general 
counsel Luis Villa. I've attempted to answer those by explaining that you can 
have a pretty good and effective policy without having an infallible one.

Trillium Corsage 

29.06.2014, 07:32, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com:
 Trillium,

 I am having difficulty understanding how retaining copies of possibly
 forged identification documents helps anyone with holding accountable any
 rogue functionary or OTRS user. Can you explain that please? Surely someone
 who intends to misuse the tools will be smart enough to forge an
 identification document. Even in the United States, forging identification
 documents is not impossible, and the police occasionally catch people
 creating such documents.

 Pine

 On Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 7:42 AM, Trillium Corsage trillium2...@yandex.com
 wrote:
  @Nathan

  You said so if you want to argue that such users should be positively
  identified, then please make some practical suggestions (which you have
  conspicuously avoided doing so far). How should identities be confirmed? In
  what circumstances should the ID information be disclosed, and to whom?
  What, fundamentally, is the usefulness in collecting this information to
  begin with? What are the use cases in which it is necessary?

  It would be a good faith evaluation of the copy of the identification
  document provided. There's no need to be quarrelsome about the practical
  suggestions I've conspicuously avoided. I did at least suggest a secure
  filing cabinet and making use of a removable hard-drive. As to the precise
  criteria by which an identification document is deemed good enough, I'd
  suppose those would be developed on a good faith basis by the action
  officer. Nobody is depending on perfection by that individual. The
  principle would be that the document appears genuine, has the minimum
  elements settled on by the policy (name, age, address, possibly other
  elements). If the document is in a foreign language, say Swahili, and the
  WMF person can't read that, I would think it would be a do the best you
  can and file it by respective Wikipedia and username. None of these are
  insurmountable obstacles. The answer to this is hard is not well, let's
  just stop doing it. The answer is this is important, let's just do the
  best we can.

  I have called for a basic examination of the document, not any
  verification process. I'd suppose if the document looked suspect in some
  way, then a telephone call or follow-up could be done, and that would be a
  verification, but I would expect that to be the exception, not the rule.
  Again, these details would be settled by the hands-on person, not by me
  attempting to write a ten-page standard operating procedure while Nathan
  zings me with what are your specifics on the mailing list.

  What is the usefulness in collecting this information to begin with?
  Well, I thought the premise here was obvious. It was obvious enough to
  those that crafted the previous policy in the first place. It establishes
  some level of accountability to those individuals accorded access to the
  personally-identifying information of editors. Personal accountability
  encourages acting with self-control and restraint. With apologies to the
  other person that responded, anonymity encourages a care-free and
  unrestricted handling of that data, and in fact to some of these people it
  indeed yields a MMORPG (multimedia online roleplaying game) environment,
  and they will do whatever they want, because they are free from
  accountability.

  The other key aspect of usefulness is to the rank and file editors. They
  will feel better knowing that if some creepazoid or cyberbully starts going
  over their IPs, and of course Googling and otherwise sleuthing for more on
  them, that at least the WMF knows 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] First _draft_ goals for WMF engineering/product

2014-06-29 Thread Michael Peel
Hi Erik,

Thanks for sharing this update. It looks like a move in a good direction for 
WMF's engineering.

I am worried by how short-term the current plans/goals are, though. I know that 
a lot of work that the engineering department does, particularly with regards 
software, which can only be planned on a quarterly basis to ensure it's as 
agile and responsive to changing needs as possible. However, there's also the 
long-term view - what the key pieces of work that department wants to get done 
over the course of the next year or longer are - which is currently missing. I 
think this is particularly important for the engineering side of things 
(expected server capacity needs etc.), but it's also relevant for the software 
development side in terms of the larger picture.

Is there a wikipage available somewhere that sets out the long-term 
view/strategic priorities for the engineering department? If not, could I 
encourage you to think about starting one?

Thanks,
Mike

On 27 Jun 2014, at 02:55, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 As an update on the goals process for WMF engineering, we've begun
 fleshing out out the top priorities for the first quarter. Going
 forward, we'll aim to call out the top priorities for each quarter as
 we approach it, to create more shared visibility into the most urgent
 and high-impact projects we're working on.
 
 I've decided for now to use a division between User-Impacting
 Changes and Cross-Functional Platform and Process Improvements. The
 intent of calling out both areas is to ensure that important
 organizational priorities don't fall off our collective radar. At the
 management level, the intent is for us to pay special attention to the
 priorities called out in this manner, and this may also impact our
 willingness to request help from across the organization if necessary
 to support these priorities, at least in Q1.
 
 I've merged the current draft into the goals document, here:
 https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/2014-15_Goals#Top_departmental_priorities_for_Q1_.28July_-_September_2014.29
 
 Once again, this is draft and marked as such. The Impact column will
 include links to relevant metrics once those are a bit more solid; if
 you look further down in the document you'll see that these are being
 refined and tweaked in multiple areas right now.
 
 A little bit of rationale for some items that may surprise you:
 
 - I've decided to list HHVM as the top priority in both categories.
 This is because a) it's a very complex undertaking from an engineering
 perspective and requires significant coordination across development 
 operations, b) it's probably the biggest change regarding how code
 gets executed in production since we adopted PHP in the first place,
 c) the expected performance benefits for many uncached logged-in user
 operations are very significant (I defer to the team to quantify
 before throwing out estimates).
 
 This is also indicative of the importance we're attaching to site
 performance. There's no question that performance is directly
 correlated with user engagement, and it's appropriate that we spend
 significant effort in this area.
 
 - We're elevating SUL finalisation (
 https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/SUL_finalisation ) to a top priority,
 and I've classified it as user-impacting. This is because it's on the
 critical path for making it easier to develop cross-site functionality
 (as long as we have to deal with the edge case of detached accounts,
 certain features that work across wikis are just trickier to
 implement), and one of those long term issues of technical debt we've
 been kicking down the road for years. It's also a pretty complex
 project -- if it goes wrong and we mess up our account database, we're
 in big trouble. So we want to make sure we have lots of eyeballs on
 this from a technical and community management perspective. We may not
 completely wrap up in Q1 since we need to give users whose accounts
 are affected significant warning time, which is just elapsed time we
 can't shorten.
 
 - Front-end code standardization is called out as a top priority. We
 really need to dig ourselves out of the mess of having disjointed
 templating systems, widget libraries, and JS frameworks across our
 codebase if we want to increase development velocity and UX
 consistency. I'm prepared to sacrifice short term development velocity
 on other projects in order to make this happen.
 
 - The content API that Gabriel is working on (
 https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Content_API ) is
 called out as a top priority. This is because the Parsoid output (for
 which the content API will be a high performance front-end) is now
 getting to the point where it's starting to become plausible to
 increasingly use it not just for VisualEditor, but also for views as
 well. The potential here are performance benefits across the board:
 for logged-in users in general by consistently relying on fast, cached
 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open Letter to Lila Regarding Access to Non-Public Information Policy

2014-06-29 Thread Pine W
Hi Pajz,

The idea that a previously trustworthy functionary or OTRS volunteer might
later go rogue has occurred to me, so let's work with that example for a
moment.

Let's hypothesize that we have a good way (90% confidence) of verifying
all submitted identity documents and that those documents are retained by
WMF in a way that's highly secure and not likely to be accessible by any
number of governments (90% confidence). Let's also hypothesize that a
steward has a mental breakdown, gets bribed, develops a personal grudge, or
otherwise becomes compromised. This rogue steward then uses their tools to
discover privacy sensitive information about a handful of other users
before their actions are noticed and stopped. What can WMF do with the
identity document that it has? WMF can take legal action against the rogue
steward, and can blacklist the rogue steward so that they can never again
be a functionary. Both of those sound like good ideas, although the first
might only work if the steward resides in a location which has an effective
law enforcement agency that is willing to cooperate with WMF.

However, it's not clear to me that we can reach 90% confidence about the
authenticity of identification documents, nor is it clear to me that we can
keep identification documents secure from privacy intrusions while they are
in transit and while they are in WMF's custody. I think the latter would be
a big worry for some potential candidates for functionary roles, and it is
imperative that WMF not be perceived as an agency of any government, or an
organization whose neutrality or integrity are compromised.

If you or someone else can suggest reasonable ways to reach 90% confidence
that identity documents are genuine and that identification information
will not be compromised while in transit or while at WMF, then I think it
makes sense to require identification. But so far I am not convinced that
we can reach either of those thresholds and it sounds like WMF has reached
the same conclusion.

Pine



On Sun, Jun 29, 2014 at 7:45 AM, Austin Hair adh...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Sun, Jun 29, 2014 at 4:18 PM, Trillium Corsage
 trillium2...@yandex.com wrote:
  (I dunno, Chinese military intelligence, with whom arbitrator Timotheus
 Canens is said by some to be associated?)

 Seriously?

 I think you've gone on long enough for now. You can come off
 moderation when you contribute something to the discussion rather than
 attacking others and, dare I say it, just plain ranting.

 Austin

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open Letter to Lila Regarding Access to Non-Public Information Policy

2014-06-29 Thread Marc A. Pelletier
On 06/29/2014 03:19 PM, Pine W wrote:
 If you or someone else can suggest reasonable ways to reach 90% confidence
 that identity documents are genuine and that identification information
 will not be compromised while in transit or while at WMF, then I think it
 makes sense to require identification. But so far I am not convinced that
 we can reach either of those thresholds and it sounds like WMF has reached
 the same conclusion.

I'm not privvy to that discussion, but I'd expect that [...] that does
not unduly exclude valuable volunteers is also an implicit requirement
of any identification method considered.

Even if you /could/ develop a mechanism by which we had safe and
reliable identification of functionnaries, it'd be worthless if most (or
even just many) of the volunteers we had were unable to avail themselves
of it because of social or geographical constraints.

-- Marc


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