Does the law actually require them to lie about data demands when questioned?
----- Original Message ----- From: "Nathan" <>
To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <>
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2013 1:52 AM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] NSA

On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 7:11 PM, Michael Snow <> wrote:
On 7/31/2013 3:31 PM, Nathan wrote:

And another thought - you know what unites most of the other companies
represented by the logos in that image? Leaks have confirmed that most
of them are the subject of secret orders to turn over huge amounts of
raw data to the government. They are all bound to secrecy by law, so
without permission none of them are permitted to describe or disclose
the nature or extent of the data demands the U.S. government has made.

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 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.

--Michael Snow

It's hardly a conspiracy theory. Given the differences between
and Wikipedia, I should think it would be clear why one might be
subject to a direct demand for transferring data while the other is
not. If anything, I think it's more reasonable to assume that
Wikipedia (which shares many features with Google, Yahoo, Twitter,
Facebook and other social networks) has been the subject of this kind
of demand than that it hasn't. No one with direct knowledge would be
able to do anything other than deny it, but we can easily see why data
held by Wikipedia (including partially anonymized e-mails, file
uploads, talk page communication, etc.) would be of interest to
intelligence agencies.

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