On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 4:11 PM, Michael Snow <wikipe...@frontier.com>wrote:

>> Now if you imagine the puzzle globe on that slide implies that
>> Wikipedia traffic is retained for intelligence analysis, it's a short
>> hop to assume that the Wikimedia Foundation is also the subject of a
>> blanket order transferring its server logs to the NSA.
> Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter, yes. But mail.ru? The shift from
> "most" to "all" in the first paragraph may make it easy to assume the
> similarity is universal, but it's ignoring the full context. That kind of
> rhetorical shift is a favorite trick of conspiracy theorists, it's how they
> get you to make those short hops to unwarranted conclusions.

Thanks for the voice of reason, Michael.

As a quick reminder here, before any conspiracy theories about orders and
data retention get out of control:

1) We've flat-out denied any sort of involvement in this, and we continue
to stand by that denial:

2) Take with a grain of salt, of course, but our understanding (based on
the few gag orders that have been made public) is that we could be forced
to not confirm having received a National Security Letter, but we can't
actually be forced to lie about it. In other words, if we'd received one we
would not be allowed to say "we've received one", but we also could not be
forced to deny it - we'd always have the option to remain silent instead.

3) We understand that the rules cause some people not to trust our denial,
and can't entirely blame them! That is why we've asked the government to
change the rules, so that you can have more trust in us next time we issue
the same denial:

This is not to say that the http/https issue isn't important; like
Engineering, we think progress on that issue is important. But it is
important to keep "we don't yet deploy https as widely as we'd like"
separate from "there are secret orders to transfer all our logs to the NSA."


Luis Villa
Deputy General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation
415.839.6885 ext. 6810

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