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

2015-03-15 Thread Yann Forget
Hi,

2015-03-13 5:54 GMT+01:00 MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com:
 phoebe ayers wrote:
(...)

 Education is apolitical.

Education is certainly not apolitical.
People with different political opinions support education, but free
education like the one promoted by the WMF is certainly more a
political issue than social networks.
That's why the WMF involvement is more logical than social networks
and commercial entities.

Regards,

Yann

 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

2015-03-15 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi all,

On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 9:54 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:
 phoebe ayers wrote:

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

 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.

Since there's been some discussion -- let me expand a little bit on
what I meant.

For all the specific questions people have asked about whether this
particular lawsuit is likely to be effective, what the likely
progression through the courts is, whether it would be possible to sue
in a foreign court and make a difference, etc. -- I trust our legal
team's opinion entirely. That is why we have professional (and in this
case, world-class-expert) staff.

I *also* trust (and in fact expect, as a trustee) the legal team to
surface large-scale risks, threats, and legal issues that affect our
community and operating model  -- in other words, figuring out *what*
to act on.

But this surfacing and deciding whether to be active in a broad issue
is also something that I agree we *all* have a role in: as MZ says,
community, board and staff. I think we have clear community values,
but it takes debate and strategic judgement to decide what to focus on
out of all of the constant issues (IP laws and copyright, internet
restrictions, etc.) that affect us, and it will take all of us to
surface all of the things that are going on in our world and what's
important.

From the board side, here's my thought process about things like this,
other than asking about logistics: if I thought that this particular
lawsuit was either a) against our community values (rather than
reinforcing the near-universal concern and disapproval about mass
surveillance that we've heard); or b) likely to significantly distract
the WMF from other core work; or c) would significantly blacken our
reputation in the US or globally to the extent that it would harm our
ability to do other work (rather than reinforcing our current
reputation as something of a hero of the internet), I would have
raised concerns. But I do not think any of these things are likely to
happen. I think the other risks (we lose, it takes a long time, etc.)
are manageable, the potential gain is worth the risk, and as I
articulated earlier, I think this is a morally important issue that we
have a role to play in.

(I should also add that the legal team *of course* has thought through
all of these concerns as well; their job is to give the board and the
organization a thorough analysis of everything that could possibly go
wrong, and they do :) )

But here's additional things that I've gotten from this community
discussion, both in this thread and privately: what else could we be
doing in Wikimedia to support reader/editor privacy? (And yes, these
are thorny technical/social issues). What other unfortunate laws are
happening elsewhere in the world and how do we track and maybe act on
those? And how do we articulate our role as an open educational
institution: recognizing, as Yann says, that education and openness
can be -- often are -- political issues?

I don't have great answers to the above questions. But I think they're
worth discussing :)

best,
Phoebe

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Patrolling photographs of living people

2015-03-15 Thread Austin Hair
On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 12:36 PM, Strainu strain...@gmail.com wrote:
 2015-03-13 11:56 GMT+02:00 Andy Mabbett a...@pigsonthewing.org.uk:
 On 13 March 2015 at 09:06, Strainu strain...@gmail.com wrote:

 Fae, you are aware that this is NOT the list for en.wp, right?

 Perhaps you missed the part of Fae's email which read:

 I did not. The place for such announcements is the village pump of
 various projects, using Global delivery. Out here this is at best
 reaching a tiny minority of interested people, at worst plain old
 spam.

I dunno. I found it both informative for the broader community and
on-topic for this list. That it's used by enwiki admins was pretty
obviously not his main point.

Austin

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

2015-03-15 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 5:53 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:


 What other unfortunate laws are
 happening elsewhere in the world and how do we track and maybe act on
 those?


I gave a very specific example in an earlier post this month:[1]

A [Kazakh] law that took effect in January 2012 required owners of
internet cafés to obtain users’ names and monitor and record their
activity, and to share their information with the security services if
requested, as noted by Freedom House in its 2013 report on freedom of the
press in Kazakhstan, among many other issues.

In July 2012, Kazakh media reported that Jimmy Wales had thanked the
Kazakh government for creating conditions for significant achievements in
the development of the Kazakh language Wikipedia.


 And how do we articulate our role as an open educational
 institution: recognizing, as Yann says, that education and openness
 can be -- often are -- political issues?


I don't have great answers to the above questions. But I think they're
 worth discussing :)


I do think this is an issue worth discussing, as is the fact that the
(currently locked) biography of the President of Azerbaijan in the Azeri
Wikipedia[2] is devoid of criticism, despite that same president being
named the most corrupt person of the year in 2012[3] and human rights
abuses under his regime repeatedly making headline news.[4][5]

Yet I see no such discussion happening.

Nor do I see the Wikimedia Foundation stepping up to the plate to issue,
say, consumer warnings when Wikipedias become co-opted by political
interests, as in the recent case of the Croatian Wikipedia, to give another
example.[6]

I think that is the least the Wikimedia Foundation could do. But rather
than flagging and discussing problems openly with the community and the
public, and devising solutions, the Foundation seems to be terminally
resistant to the idea of saying anything that might be perceived as
criticism of its own product.

A bit of honest self-reflection would go a long way. You'd be surprised how
much respect that would earn you.

[1] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2015-March/077053.html
[2]
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=autotl=enjs=yprev=_thl=enie=UTF-8u=https%3A%2F%2Faz.wikipedia.org%2Fw%2Findex.php%3Ftitle%3D%25C4%25B0lham_%25C6%258Fliyev%26oldid%3D3210360edit-text=
[3] http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4cc_1359101045
[4] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30888135
[5]
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1364372/Prince-Andrews-close-friendship-torture-dictator-Ilham-Aliyev.html
[6]
http://www.dailydot.com/politics/croatian-wikipedia-fascist-takeover-controversy-right-wing/
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement: WMF to file suit against the NSA

2015-03-15 Thread Andreas Kolbe
On Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:14 PM, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 5:53 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com
 wrote:


 What other unfortunate laws are
 happening elsewhere in the world and how do we track and maybe act on
 those?



Here is a concrete suggestion:

Reach out to the most reputable human rights organisations.

Starting with the countries at the bottom of the press freedom league
table, have the human rights organisations form working groups to assess
the relevant Wikipedia language versions for their coverage of the human
rights situation in the countries they serve.

If a working group finds that a Wikipedia language version does not
accurately reflect the government's human rights record, issue a public
warning that – in the human rights organisations' opinion – the Wikipedia
in question appears to be subject to undue political manipulation.

Provide funding for this work. Ensure high visibility for the resulting
reports. Ideally, place a superprotected link to the report in the
Wikipedia itself.

This will increase the chances that the content will be accurate, while
relieving pressure on activists in the countries concerned.

Think of it as a Wikipedia freedom index.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] SUL finalization update (no, for real this time)

2015-03-15 Thread MZMcBride
Keegan Peterzell wrote:
Single-user login[1] finalization will be taking place next month.[2]

[...]

All accounts that will be affected by this will be contacted on their talk
page within the next couple of days.[4]

Hi.

Do you think a month of warning to affected users is sufficient? Ideally
we want as many users as possible to self-rename before being forcibly
renamed, I think. And if a lot of users take us up on the opportunity to
self-rename (i.e., request a user rename, we still don't have true
self-renames...), we want to make sure there aren't big backlogs. Sending
out messages to 2.8 million accounts seems like it could create a flood.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] SUL finalization update (no, for real this time)

2015-03-15 Thread Keegan Peterzell
Hi there,

On Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 11:33 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 Keegan Peterzell wrote:
 Single-user login[1] finalization will be taking place next month.[2]
 
 [...]
 
 All accounts that will be affected by this will be contacted on their talk
 page within the next couple of days.[4]

 Hi.

 Do you think a month of warning to affected users is sufficient? Ideally
 we want as many users as possible to self-rename before being forcibly
 renamed, I think. And if a lot of users take us up on the opportunity to
 self-rename (i.e., request a user rename, we still don't have true
 self-renames...), we want to make sure there aren't big backlogs. Sending
 out messages to 2.8 million accounts seems like it could create a flood.

 MZMcBride


Great question, and it's one I've wrested with personally and in meetings.

Ultimately the timeline that is chosen is arbitrary. We can look at the
data of the accounts like the number of edits v. age, potentially how much
time does the average person with a conflicting account login based on
user_touched, and several other metrics, but in the end there is no science
to come up with a predictive timeframe. Another arbitrary number is how
many of these accounts will show up to request a rename, no matter the
timeframe. I can set this to take place six months from now but that's not
predictive of behavior. As you can imagine, there's many more scenarios :)

So, given that, in my opinion the biggest tell is going to be what happens
in the first two weeks. There are two potential bottlenecks: technical and
in personnel. If the job queue or any other sort of technical function is
regularly getting stuck, we'll revisit the month time frame. If the
technical side is holding up but there are too many rename requests to
fulfill before the deadline, we'll revisit the deadline. I'm willing to be
flexible depending on the circumstance.

The bottom line is that this is something that we're only doing once, and
it's something that I want to do right. I'd be willing to postpone if major
technical and/or personnel blockers show up. However, I'm committed to the
month deadline as much as I can be - at some point this has to be done, we
clearly can come up with blockers for over a decade. 2.8 million accounts
could create a flood, or a trickle. We're going to see, and very soon :)

-- 
Keegan Peterzell
Community Liaison, Product
Wikimedia Foundation
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