On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM, En Pine <deyntest...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> I'm inclined to agree with Risker here. Telling someone that a CU has been
> performed on their account, at the time that a CU is performed, might alert
> a disruptive user that some part of their recent activity has triggered the
> attention of SPI. This information could be used to the advantage of the
> disruptive user.
> If someone believes that CU may have been used improperly, various groups
> can investigate the use of CU.
> John, you said in your original email, "See the Rich Farmbrough ArbCom
> case where I suspect obvious fishing, where the CU'ed user was requesting
> information and the CU claimed it would be a violation of the privacy
> policy to release the time/reason/performer of the checkuser." Can you
> provide a link to the relevant diffs? I would be interested in reading the
> diffs to get a fuller understanding of what was said, particularly
> regarding the Wikimedia-wide Privacy Policy.
> Thanks,
> Pine

Here are some problems with that rationale:

1) If a sock confirmation results from a CU check, the person is blocked,
which is a pretty big tip off all its own. If a case is filed at SPI, then
tons of evidence is submitted, then a CU check is performed in public, then
a block is or is not imposed. That whole process is a pretty big tip off
too, but we haven't shut it down for providing a road map to abusers.

2) You can't dispute the use of CU on your information if you don't know
that it was used. It's kind of like secret wiretapping with a FISA warrant;
if you never know you've been wiretapped, how are you supposed to challenge
it or know whether it was used improperly? As for "various groups can
investigate", to some extent that's true. Most of them are checkusers,
however, and they still tend not to disclose all relevant information. I'm
not saying that any CU is doing anything improper or that it's likely, but
such allegations have been made in the past, and it seems like a pretty cut
and dried case of people having a right to know how their own information
is being used. If Wikimedia were based in Europe, it would most likely be
required by law.

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