Any censor from the United States or European governments that works
directly with us (I have no personal knowledge of this, I just know it
has to be) is concerned with classified information, not someone's
opinions or factual information about historical events or political

Detailed information about construction of advanced nuclear weapons or
the details of military or intelligence operations cannot be on Wikipedia
just as child pornography cannot be; on the other hand, a distorted, or
devastatingly accurate picture, of the Iraq War, or Obama, can be.

So, while the details of material removed for legitimate security reasons
cannot be published; in China the identity and any personal information
we have gathered such as the ip address of an editor and the content of
their edits to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 article would be of
interest to the security apparatus and classified. Any local employee or
volunteer of ours who shared that information with others even within our
organization could be prosecuted. It is quite impossible to work with the
Chinese government in the manner suggested and maintain a scintilla of
integrity. A request by them to remove details about their advanced
nuclear weapons or specific details of their military deployments would,
of course, be legitimate.

The Chinese government has legitimate reason to avoid extensive public
attention to past errors and disasters; one has only to look at the
history of the Soviet Union to observe the effect of focusing on past
outrages on public morale, but that is their burden to bear not ours to


> Hoi,
> Fred, what is different in your scenario from what happens in the USA ?
> Thanks,
>       GerardM
> On 3 September 2013 00:23, Fred Bauder <> wrote:
>> > On 31/08/13 15:17, Erik Moeller wrote:
>> >> It could be argued
>> >> that it’s time to draw a line in the sand - if you’re
>> prohibiting
>> >> the
>> >> use of encryption, you’re effectively not part of the web.
>> You’re
>> >> subverting basic web technologies.
>> >
>> > China is not prohibiting encryption. They're prohibiting specific
>> > instances of encryption which facilitate circumvention of censorship.
>> >
>> >> So, what to do? My main suggestion is to organize a broad request
>> for
>> >> comments and input on possible paths forward.
>> >
>> > OK, well there's one fairly obvious solution which hasn't been
>> > proposed or discussed. It would allow the end-to-end encryption and
>> > would allow us to stay as popular in China as we are now.
>> >
>> > We could open a data centre in China, send frontend requests from
>> > clients in China to that data centre, and comply with local
>> censorship
>> > and surveillance as required to continue such operation.
>> >
>> > It would be kind of like the cooperation we give to the US government
>> > at the moment, except specific to readers in China instead of imposed
>> > on everyone in the world.
>> >
>> > It would allow WMF to monitor censorship and surveillance by being in
>> > the request loop. It would give WMF greater influence over local
>> > policy, because our staff would be in direct contact with their
>> staff.
>> > We would be able to deliver clear error messages in place of censored
>> > content, instead of a connection reset.
>> >
>> > -- Tim Starling
>> Their orders would be classified; disclosure of them would be a crime.
>> Not a problem for us, but a big problem for staff on the ground in
>> China.
>> Fred
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