> MMORPG players


Richard Symonds
Wikimedia UK
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On 27 June 2014 14:18, Trillium Corsage <trillium2...@yandex.com> wrote:

> Hi again Luis,
> Thank you for commenting my open letter to Lila. I guess if I send an open
> letter I should expect open responses, however I surely hope Lila will
> speak on the matter, "yea," "nay," or "not of concern to me," as I asked.
> Yes, I recall your previous response to my previous email (which was
> actually larger in scope, criticizing the now-effective overall privacy
> policy, whereas I now focus on the access-to-non-public information
> sub-policy, not yet in effect). In it you said the policies would never
> attain "perfection." Below you assert "there is no magical answer." These
> are examples of thought-terminating cliches. Presented with reasoned
> criticism of the policies, you attempt to stop discussion by saying they
> can never be perfect or magical. To give you credit, a lot of times
> thought-terminating cliches are effective in debate with non-lawyers.
> I'm going to go ahead and answer your "perhaps when we next look at the
> question in a few years" with the obvious observation that the procedures
> the policy lays out now are going to affect contributors mightily within
> the next few years. The access policy is not effective yet and can still be
> amended. So I'm going to resist your kicking the can down the road a few
> years.
> Now, to dig into the actual merits of what you say, I respond that these
> policies were not "discussed extensively with the community." You obtained
> input almost exclusively from the *administrative subset* of the community,
> and none no more so than the individuals that currently have or stand to
> obtain the accesses in question. Should we be surprised that they prefer
> anonymity for themselves, as they explore the IPs and browser signatures
> and so on of the rank and file content editors? No. "The community"
> according to Lila is *all* the editors, a mere fraction (though powerful)
> of which are the insider and involved administrative types that commented
> on the policy drafts. I'm confident you'll agree that this distinction is
> more or less accurate, that in fact it is the administrative participants
> particularly that tend to comment this stuff, and not so much
> representatives of the great masses of content editors that actually built
> Wikipedia. Please do not gloss over this distinction in the future when
> claiming immense "community" participation. I'm not saying it's your fault
> that the discussion wasn't representative though. I'm just saying that's
> how it is.
> Neither am I faulting, or at least I shouldn't fault, anything about
> Michelle Paulson's hard work on the matter. I think the bad decision to
> accord anonymity to the checkusers and so forth was made higher up. In fact
> it's interesting to look back in the discussion to see what she said: "1)
> We do not believe that the current practices regarding collection and
> retention of community member identification are in compliance with the
> Board’s current Access to nonpublic data policy and hoped to bring the
> policy and practices closer to fulfilling the original intent of the
> policy" (
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Access_to_nonpublic_information_policy/Archives/2014#Rethinking_the_access_policy:_Response_to_recent_feedback).
> What she's saying is that WMF Legal became uncomfortable with the fact that
> what the responsible individuals were doing with the identifications
> (shredding, deleting) was at odds with what the policy clearly stated to
> editors was the case (identifying). Faced with this problem, there were two
> ways to go: 1) change the practice to conform with the policy (i.e. start
> securely keeping the identifications), or 2) change the policy to conform
> to the practice (i.e. grant anonymity to those granted access to
> non-anonymous information of others). What I am saying here, and if Lila is
> reading this far, is that you chose the wrong option.
> This email is already long, and I am not going to start commenting again
> why I think the administrative culture has attracted exactly the wrong kind
> of people, cyber-bullies, MMORPG players, creepers, and that this change to
> the policy is going to magnify that. I guess I'll just close by saying that
> it is not that hard to buy a secure file cabinet for the identification
> faxes and, say, the removable hard-drive containing the identification
> emails. There aren't all that great many checkusers and oversighters and
> OTRS volunteers and so forth, and they're not being added that fast. The
> existing ones can be accounted for in stages. So these "practical
> difficulties" you refer to Luis, I don't see them as so severe. As for the
> "risks to volunteers" what are you saying? Are you saying the WMF cannot
> securely keep some copies of identifications? The real volunteers at risk
> are those rank and file editors you propose to expose to a group of
> anonymous and unaccountable administrative participants.
> Trillium Corsage
> 27.06.2014, 01:48, "Luis Villa" <lvi...@wikimedia.org>:
> > Hi, Trillium-
> >
> > As I pointed out to you the last time we discussed the privacy
> > policy[1], this issue (and the rest of the policy) were discussed
> > extensively with the community, with the board, and with the previous
> > Executive Director. It was then approved by the Board.
> >
> > This particular topic was discussed particularly thoroughly, with a
> > separate consultation and additional discussion with the Board. We did
> > all that because, as we said in our blog post on the topic[2], this
> > was a tough question that required everyone involved to balance
> > difficult privacy concerns with the risks and practical difficulties
> > of identifying volunteers. There was no magical answer that could
> > please everyone, despite sincere efforts to find creative solutions
> > informed by several years of experience building and operating the
> > previous policy.
> >
> > Since we made that post (and since the Board approved the decision)
> > nothing has changed. The factors being balanced are still difficult,
> > and Legal would still come down the same way we did in February (when
> > we finished the public consultation) and April (when we presented our
> > recommendation to the Board).
> >
> > Perhaps when we next look at the question in a few years the facts
> > will have substantially changed and it will make sense to revisit this
> > decision and tighten the requirements. But right now, within months of
> > board approval after a lot of discussion, is not that time.
> >
> > For what it is worth-
> > Luis
> >
> > [1]
> https://www.mail-archive.com/wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org/msg12552.htm
> > [2]
> http://blog.wikimedia.org/2014/02/14/a-new-access-to-nonpublic-information/
> >
> > P.S. Tangentially, and speaking mostly for myself, I want to thank the
> > many Wikimedians I've talked with in the past ~18 months who have been
> > patient and supportive as we try our best to talk with you, weigh
> > costs and benefits with you, and make difficult decisions - not just
> > about privacy but also about many other things large and small. We'd
> > love to be perfect, have infinite time and infinite resources and
> > infinite patience, or no hard problems. Since we don't, we have to
> > just try our best. I'm grateful for and deeply appreciate all the
> > people who understand that and have worked with us in patient good
> > faith to move ahead the mission we all share. Corny, I know, but true.
> > :)
> >
> > On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:06 AM, Trillium Corsage
> > <trillium2...@yandex.com> wrote:
> >>  Dear Ms. Tretikov,
> >>
> >>  Would you please speak on the new revision of the "Access to
> Non-Public Information" policy? Can you express your objection to it? Can
> you express your support of it? You'll find it here:
> >>
> >>  http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Access_to_nonpublic_information_policy
> >>
> >>  This governs the conditions by which the WMF grants access to
> potentially personally-identifying data such as IPs and web-browser
> profiles of Wikipedia editors. It grants these to particular administrative
> participants, for example checkusers and oversighters and arbitrators, of
> the various "communities," for example the Wikipedias of various languages.
> >>
> >>  Under the terms of the prior access policy, those administrative
> participants were required to send a fax or scanned copy of an
> identification document. Editors were led to believe that the WMF kept
> record of who these people actually were. It was repeatedly claimed that
> they had "identified to WMF." This soothed the concerns of editors like me
> that thought, okay, well at least someone knows who they are. The truth was
> that a WMF employee marked a chart of usernames only that the
> administrative participant's ID showed someone 18 or over, and then
> shredded or otherwise destroyed those records. The phrase that so-and-so
> "has identified to WMF" or "is identified to WMF" was so commonly stated,
> including by the WMF, that I regard it as a great deception and betrayal
> that it really was shredding and destroying the identifications.
> >>
> >>  The new policy is even worse. It abandons the mere pretense of an
> identification. So while it goes the wrong direction, at least it ceases to
> deceive. All it calls for now is an email address, an assertion that the
> person is 18 or over, and an assertion that the owner of the email account
> has read a short confidentiality agreement. The person need not provide a
> real name. You are well aware that various web-email services offer
> basically untraceable email addresses. You are well aware that only a named
> person can enter into agreement on confidentiality. An agreement by a
> Wikipedia username with an untraceable email address is not only
> unenforceable, it is a ludicrous proposition.
> >>
> >>  The webpage says the policy is not in effect yet. I urge you to reject
> it as written and instead have it amended to actually require
> identification for those faceless entities you prepare to turn loose with
> potentially cyberstalker tools.
> >>
> >>  Whatever your stance, I do call on you to speak on the question. Say
> "yea," say "nay," or say "not my concern," but at least speak.
> >>
> >>  Trillium Corsage
> >>
> >>  _______________________________________________
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> >
> > --
> > Luis Villa
> > Deputy General Counsel
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > 415.839.6885 ext. 6810
> >
> > This message may be confidential or legally privileged. If you have
> > received it by accident, please delete it and let us know about the
> > mistake. As an attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, for
> > legal/ethical reasons I cannot give legal advice to, or serve as a
> > lawyer for, community members, volunteers, or staff members in their
> > personal capacity. For more on what this means, please see our legal
> > disclaimer.
> >
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