@Nathan

You said "so if you want to argue that such users should be positively 
identified, then please make some practical suggestions (which you have 
conspicuously avoided doing so far). How should identities be confirmed? In 
what circumstances should the ID information be disclosed, and to whom? What, 
fundamentally, is the usefulness in collecting this information to begin with? 
What are the use cases in which it is necessary?"

It would be a good faith evaluation of the copy of the identification document 
provided. There's no need to be quarrelsome about the practical suggestions 
I've "conspicuously avoided." I did at least suggest a secure filing cabinet 
and making use of a removable hard-drive. As to the precise criteria by which 
an identification document is deemed "good enough," I'd suppose those would be 
developed on a good faith basis by the action officer. Nobody is depending on 
perfection by that individual. The principle would be that the document appears 
genuine, has the minimum elements settled on by the policy (name, age, address, 
possibly other elements). If the document is in a foreign language, say 
Swahili, and the WMF person can't read that, I would think it would be a "do 
the best you can" and file it by respective Wikipedia and username. None of 
these are insurmountable obstacles. The answer to "this is hard" is not "well, 
let's just stop doing it." The answer is "this is important, let's just do the 
best we can."

I have called for a basic examination of the document, not any verification 
process. I'd suppose if the document looked suspect in some way, then a 
telephone call or follow-up could be done, and that would be a "verification," 
but I would expect that to be the exception, not the rule. Again, these details 
would be settled by the hands-on person, not by me attempting to write a 
ten-page standard operating procedure while Nathan zings me with "what are your 
specifics" on the mailing list.

"What is the usefulness in collecting this information to begin with?" Well, I 
thought the premise here was obvious. It was obvious enough to those that 
crafted the previous policy in the first place. It establishes some level of 
accountability to those individuals accorded access to the 
personally-identifying information of editors. Personal accountability 
encourages acting with self-control and restraint. With apologies to the other 
person that responded, anonymity encourages a care-free and unrestricted 
handling of that data, and in fact to some of these people it indeed yields a 
MMORPG (multimedia online roleplaying game) environment, and they will do 
whatever they want, because they are free from accountability.

The other key aspect of usefulness is to the rank and file editors. They will 
feel better knowing that if some creepazoid or cyberbully starts going over 
their IPs, and of course Googling and otherwise sleuthing for more on them, 
that at least the WMF knows who they are, and the rank and file editor 
potentially has some recourse if it finally comes to it. So I say the 
usefulness there is treating editors right and furnishing a safer environment 
for them, in which they are not so exposed to anonymous administrators.

Thank you for your response.

Trillium Corsage (by the way although "Trillium" is a type of flower, I am in 
fact a dude. So please use male pronouns if it occurs to you. It was just an 
email address I picked sort of randomly and then I ran with it as pseudonym).
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