On Thu, 12 Jul 2012 13:34:46 -0400, Nathan wrote:
Is there a "service provider" exemption for entities like Wikimedia in

Not that I know of.

Is it possible that making the Russian Wikipedia inaccessible for a
period in order to protest a Russian law might be considered political
activism in Russia?

Legally, no, it is not political activism. From the point of view of having good relation with the authorities, this, of course, complicates things.

I don't believe the WMF itself has any assets in
Russia, but it seems like that wouldn't prevent the Russian authorities from taking steps against the Foundation if the Russian Wikipedia community
decides to take steps like this again.

Formally, they can shut down access to Russian Wikipedia on November 1. In reality, I doubt very much they are going to do it. I do not see what they can gain, and the public opinion, however weak, will not approve it.

What about other countries? If the Arabic Wikipedia decides to protest laws in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, or the Chinese Wikipedia against the PRC, etc., has anyone at the Foundation evaluated if there are any risks involved or
potential repercussions?

I guess in this case nobody asked the Foundation beforehand. And I think the fact that nobody from wm.ru cared to show up here to provide info and answer questions (Victoria and myself are not members and none of us is a Russian resident, though I am a Russian citizen and was flying from Russia just last weekend) is in my opinion very illustrative in this respect.

But indeed a good question is would it be for instance a good idea to blackout Chinese Wikipedia to protest the firewall. My opinion is no. It would expose a number of people to immediate danger without any obviousl benefits, since the probability that the blackout can change anything is increasingly low.


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