Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement: WMF to file suit against the NSA

2015-03-12 Thread Anders Wennersten
Personally I am not convinced this is an optimal action in order for us 
to reach our goals, mission and vision. To attack the Intellectual 
property laws would be more spot on and this action can put our 
image/brand at risk (but also strengthen it).


From a tactical viewpoint, I personally have many question marks. The 
choice of partners, the unclear key message in the suit and I do believe 
there should have been a Board resolution to back this up.


But i still find it is great. We should act boldly and strongly when 
relevant. And we should use our fully independence (which also include 
the donators)  to raise our voice when appropriate.


And we will learn a lot by doing a thing like this, which enables us to 
became in the future a respected stakeholder in issues like this one


Good luck Michelle and Geoff!

Anders









phoebe ayers skrev den 2015-03-12 02:34:

On Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 10:03 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

Hi.

I'm of two minds here. I would love for mass surveillance to stop; the
revelations of the past few years are disgusting. However, this lawsuit
has the appearance of being the start of a completely un-winnable case
that's merely an expensive political stunt. Perhaps especially due to the
SOPA protests, I'm very wary of the Wikimedia Foundation engaging in
stunts like this. I have a few questions.


Has the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees passed a resolution
authorizing the Wikimedia Foundation general counsel and executive
director to pursue this lawsuit? I understand that one board member
(Jimmy) is involved, of course, but something of this scale seems like it
would require explicit authorization.

The board hasn't passed a resolution -- approving actions proposed by
the ED (and in this case general counsel) don't generally require a
resolution -- but we do support this action.

As for cost, remember that the ACLU is filing the suit on the
plaintiffs' (us) behalf. My understanding is our major investment here
is coordination time and our good name.

Whether it's worth us getting involved -- I'd argue of course it is.
The developments of the last few years about mass surveillance have
been egregious, even for the cynical among us. We (Wikimedia) are in a
rare position for an online organization -- of being widely used,
international, beloved, not beholden to corporate or government
interests, and with strong values of privacy, inclusion and openness,
which is reflected in everything from allowing anonymous editor
accounts to not tracking what our readers read. We also happen to be
based in the U.S., so can do things like file lawsuits here.

I trust our legal team to make decisions about what legal actions to
participate in. I also know and acknowledge that this is far from the
only thing that we can do on our own projects to support reader and
user privacy, and also far from the only thing that will have to
happen -- in the courts, in the congress, in technology circles -- to
make any change to policy. But if we could predict the outcome of
every suit before it was filed, the world would be a different place,
and the potential gain here is, I think, certainly worth the risk of
losing.

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 25M files on Commons

2015-03-12 Thread Pine W
Excellent. I think that the Commons 25 million files milestone calls for a
post in the Wikimedia Blog and/or the Signpost.

Pine
On Mar 12, 2015 12:47 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter pute...@mccme.ru wrote:

 Dear all,

 I am not sure why it so far got little publicity, but yesterday the 25
 millionth file was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

 The image itself is a cityscape, a depiction of the courtyard of the
 Mevlid-i Halil Mosque, Şanlıurfa, Turkey

 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mevlid-i_Halil_Mosque_08.jpg

 The topic on Commons (which essentially has Multichill's announcement and
 a short discussion what would we do if the 25Mth uploaded image were porn).

 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#We_
 have_a_winner_.2825M.29

 Cheers
 Yaroslav

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[Wikimedia-l] 25M files on Commons

2015-03-12 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

Dear all,

I am not sure why it so far got little publicity, but yesterday the 25 
millionth file was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.


The image itself is a cityscape, a depiction of the courtyard of the 
Mevlid-i Halil Mosque, Şanlıurfa, Turkey


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mevlid-i_Halil_Mosque_08.jpg

The topic on Commons (which essentially has Multichill's announcement 
and a short discussion what would we do if the 25Mth uploaded image were 
porn).


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Village_pump#We_have_a_winner_.2825M.29

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement: WMF to file suit against the NSA

2015-03-12 Thread Robert Rohde
I agree that it is good for someone to stand up to the NSA, though I am
also very sympathetic to the point that taking legal action may require the
WMF to devote considerable time and money to this project, and distract
from other goals.  Perhaps the ACLU and the other plaintiffs are going to
shoulder a significant part of that burden?  After all, we may have the
public clout but other organizations have more lawyers and more experience
fighting the government in court than we do.

On that tack, I find it somewhat surprising that there are no other
technology organizations as partners to the suit.  The same Snowden-leaked
slide that mentioned Wikipedia also mentioned Google, Facebook, Yahoo,
etc.  While NSA snooping may have some chilling scenarios for Wikipedia
editors living in certain countries, I would expect that NSA snooping
through email and social networks would seem like a much more severe
intrusion for the typical reader than capturing their Wikipedia activity.
Thus it would seem that many of the big tech companies would have more to
fear, and be in a better position to argue the potential harm caused by
pervasive surveillance than Wikimedia.  At the same time, many tech
companies also have more financial resources and larger legal departments
than WMF.

I suppose other tech companies might have been invited to participate but
declined for various reasons.  Or there might be non-obvious arguments for
thinking this suit will do better without large corporations being
involved.  I can imagine there might be many good reasons for choosing
certain partners and excluding other possible partners.  Though, it does
seem somewhat surprising to me that WMF would be lead plaintiff on a case
like this.

I don't really expect that the WMF is going to explain their legal strategy
or provide much detail on how they expect to share the cost / time burden
associated with pursuing this suit.  So let me just say that I hope that
everyone at the WMF has thought through the logistics of this endeavor and
is doing it for all the right reasons with an eye towards maximizing the
chance of success (ideally in court, though possibly though the court of
public opinion and political action).  Fighting the government is not a
small thing, so let's hope the ideological motivations aren't causing
people to lose sight of the practical concerns.

Anyway, the die is cast, so good luck with it.

-Robert Rohde

On Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 10:03 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 Hi.

 I'm of two minds here. I would love for mass surveillance to stop; the
 revelations of the past few years are disgusting. However, this lawsuit
 has the appearance of being the start of a completely un-winnable case
 that's merely an expensive political stunt. Perhaps especially due to the
 SOPA protests, I'm very wary of the Wikimedia Foundation engaging in
 stunts like this. I have a few questions.



 Has the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees passed a resolution
 authorizing the Wikimedia Foundation general counsel and executive
 director to pursue this lawsuit? I understand that one board member
 (Jimmy) is involved, of course, but something of this scale seems like it
 would require explicit authorization.

 What's the projected financial cost of this lawsuit for the Wikimedia
 Foundation?

 What's the projected length of time that this lawsuit will take to resolve?

 What specifically is the Wikimedia Foundation hoping to accomplish with
 this lawsuit? I read about filing this suit [...] to end this mass
 surveillance program in order to protect the rights of our users around
 the world, but what's a best-case scenario here? What could a federal
 judge do here?

 How does the Wikimedia Foundation intend to protect the rights of users
 around the world when it will have a nearly impossible time of protecting
 Americans, much less non-Americans? U.S. courts and the U.S. Congress have
 made it very clear that spying on non-Americans is completely acceptable,
 so when I read that the aim is to protect users worldwide, I'm pretty
 skeptical.

 Is there any indication from prior court cases that this lawsuit will be
 successful? Reading https://www.eff.org/node/84572 about Jewel v. NSA
 leads to me to think that we already know almost exactly what's likeliest
 to happen here.

 Aside from standing, U.S. government agencies (even outside of
 intelligence agencies) have broad immunity from lawsuits. How does the
 Wikimedia Foundation intend to penetrate immunity here? It seems very
 unlikely that a single slide in a classified presentation, which honestly
 references Wikipedia only in passing as an example of a site using HTTP,
 will convince any judge that there's enough to establish standing and
 penetrate immunity.



 My concern is that this will be an expensive, decade-long lawsuit that
 will eat donor money and ultimately accomplish nothing.

 Nearly all of the surveillance that takes place on our projects comes
 from our users. We're 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement: WMF to file suit against the NSA

2015-03-12 Thread James Alexander
On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 10:12 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

  A page on Meta-Wiki
 collecting information about this lawsuit might be nice to have.


When we were rolling out I put the FAQ at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_v._National_Security_Agency/FAQ
for translation etc. The base page is currently just a redirect until there
was more to put there but could certainly get used.

James Alexander
Community Advocacy
Wikimedia Foundation
(415) 839-6885 x6716 @jamesofur
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement: WMF to file suit against the NSA

2015-03-12 Thread MZMcBride
phoebe ayers wrote:
As for cost, remember that the ACLU is filing the suit on the
plaintiffs' (us) behalf. My understanding is our major investment here
is coordination time and our good name.

The fact that the Wikimedia Foundation is being used as a convenient
vehicle makes me feel a bit more uneasy in some ways.

Whether it's worth us getting involved -- I'd argue of course it is.
The developments of the last few years about mass surveillance have
been egregious, even for the cynical among us. We (Wikimedia) are in a
rare position for an online organization -- of being widely used,
international, beloved, not beholden to corporate or government
interests, and with strong values of privacy, inclusion and openness,
which is reflected in everything from allowing anonymous editor
accounts to not tracking what our readers read. We also happen to be
based in the U.S., so can do things like file lawsuits here.

You make a number of good points here. But I think the larger question is
whether the Wikimedia Foundation should be involved in political advocacy.
Yes, I've read the arguments about Wikimedia's existence itself being a
political statement, but I'm not sure I buy this line of thought.

Education is apolitical. I don't see making the leap from being an
educational non-profit with an unusually heavy focus on engineering to
doing all of this and also engaging in political advocacy as being a very
good idea. If anything, we should play to our strengths and use technology
to mitigate surveillance as much as is reasonable, if this is a real
concern to our users. The extent to which Wikimedia users are concerned
still seems arguable, as people have noted that other sites such as
Facebook and Google contain far more private and personal information.[*]

I trust our legal team to make decisions about what legal actions to
participate in.

It's been noted that there are a lot of legal issues around the world that
the Wikimedia Foundation legal team could attempt to resolve. In fact, in
probably any case, helping out in some small country would be a lot more
likely to have a positive result over trying to fight the U.S. government.
Mass surveillance is an abomination, but I think the role of the Wikimedia
Foundation is to develop, support, and grow Wikimedia projects and I'm not
sure this lawsuit is really doing that.

Whether the Wikimedia Foundation should be engaged in political advocacy,
and if so, who decides when and to what extent, seem like issues where
there should be Wikimedia community, Board, and staff involvement.

I'm wary of the precedent that we're setting here in terms of this being
cited in the future as a reason to join other legal actions around the
world. I'm also wary of of the potentially dangerous and unbalanced power
it gives staff members to use Wikimedia as a political tool. I happen to
sympathize with the position being taken today, but what about the future?

Thank you for the thoughtful and informative reply. :-)

MZMcBride

[*] Just as a side note, tracking users also comes up in the context of
trying to determine the number of unique page views for Wikimedia wikis.
There are values and principles questions at play, on a global scale.



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement: WMF to file suit against the NSA

2015-03-12 Thread MZMcBride
In answers to questions on Quora, Jimmy Wales responded to some of the
points from my earlier mailing list reply. (I didn't post any questions,
including the questions linked below, to Quora.) A page on Meta-Wiki
collecting information about this lawsuit might be nice to have.


MZMcBride wrote:
However, this lawsuit has the appearance of being the start of a
completely un-winnable case that's merely an expensive political stunt.

At http://qr.ae/jbdw0 Jimmy writes:

---
It is not in any way a publicity stunt. It is a real lawsuit in a real
court about a real issue. It is fully backed by the ACLU, and we have a
good chance of winning.
---


MZMcBride wrote:
What's the projected length of time that this lawsuit will take to
resolve?

At http://qr.ae/jk5me Jimmy writes:

---
I would estimate that it will take 2-3 years in total, including appeals
courts and the Supreme Court if necessary.

I think our odds of winning are very good.  I assume they and their
lawyers think the opposite.  :-)
---


MZMcBride



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[Wikimedia-l] Patrolling photographs of living people

2015-03-12 Thread
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:BLP_overwrites

A quick reminder about this report which helps vandalism patrollers
for the English Wikipedia spot when images used in Wikipedia
biographies are being overwritten by newbie accounts. I recommend
more admins add the report to their watch-list. It is not too much of
a pest, as in a day it tends to change between 4 to 10 times with
normally only 1 or 2 new images being added.

The report has been running continuously on Labs for 5 months, changes
being added to the on-wiki report within 5 minutes of upload. In that
time there has not been another revenge porn type attack. Commons
remains open for contributors to overwrite images and vandalism can
happen. Based on this report a number of less desirable image
overwrites have been promptly spotted and reverted, mostly with the
only action being an explanation to the uploader of the the Commons
overwriting policy as they were acting in good-faith.[1]

I consider the report useful and very stable, the only recent change
being to filter out svg format images as this was adding a lot of
flags and symbols used in BLPs that have not been an issue to date.
The most active Commons patrollers I have noticed taking action on
reported images being Deniss and Mattbuck; so hats off to them for
lots of useful admin work. :-)

If there are other Wikipedias that may benefit from a similar report,
please drop me a note on Commons or email me.

P.S. If haphazard copyright violations being uploaded from Flickr have
worried you, then you may enjoy taking a look at my Flickrstreams of
concern report which has a more than 50% hit rate for identifying
problem sources that may need to be black-listed.[2]

Links:
1. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Overwriting_existing_files
2. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Faebot/Flickrstreams_of_concern

Cheers,
Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

On 20 October 2014 at 08:51, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:
 Based on discussion with 99of9 at
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:F%C3%A6/BLP_overwrites#Boundary_conditions
 the report has been changed to include editors with up to 1000 edits
 on Commons and 2000 edits on Wikipedia. The images list has jumped to
 20 from 6, still a small and manageable list for new image patrollers.
 A previous minor change was to how often the report runs - checks are
 made every 5 minutes now, previously it was every 15.

 If you would like to see other improvements, please raise suggestions
 on the above talk page and I would be happy to discuss what would be
 sensible to include or adapt.

 Fae

 On 17 October 2014 08:37, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:
 Due to recent vandalism a new report on Commons for page patrollers
 has been started at
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:F%C3%A6/BLP_overwrites.

 This page shows images actively used on English Wikipedia biography
 articles, where a new upload has overwritten the original by a
 newbie* account. The report should be automatically refreshed within
 15 minutes of a new image upload/overwrite of this type.

 Instances of deliberate image vandalism of this type are rare, but
 important to handle promptly. If you have suggestions for improvement
 of this report, I would be happy to do my best to accommodate them.

 Notes:
 * For convenience newbie accounts have been arbitrarily taken as
 accounts with fewer than 200 edits on the English Wikipedia or fewer
 than 100 edits on Wikimedia Commons.
 * The report is maintained by Faebot and should be considered in a
 draft state as it may be moved to a more 'official' location or be
 taken on by more skilled bot operators.

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[Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] The Signpost – Volume 11, Issue 10 – 11 March 2015

2015-03-12 Thread Rob
The Signpost – Volume 11, Issue 10 – 11 March 2015



Special report: An advance look at the WMF's fundraising survey
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-03-11/Special_report

In focus: WMF to NSA: stop spying on Wikipedia users
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-03-11/In_focus

News and notes: WikiWomen's History Month—meetups, blog posts, and
Inspire grant-making campaign
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-03-11/News_and_notes

In the media: Gamergate; a Wiki hoax; Kanye West
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-03-11/In_the_media

Traffic report: Wikipedia: handing knowledge to the world, one prank at a
time
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-03-11/Traffic_report

Featured content: Here they come, the couple plighted –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-03-11/Featured_content

Op-ed: Why the Core Contest matters
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-03-11/Op-ed

Single page view

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

PDF version

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-03-11

http://identi.ca/wikisignpost / https://twitter.com/wikisignpost
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