Personally I am not convinced this is an optimal action in order for us to reach our goals, mission and vision. To attack the Intellectual property laws would be more spot on and this action can put our image/brand at risk (but also strengthen it).

From a tactical viewpoint, I personally have many question marks. The choice of partners, the unclear key message in the suit and I do believe there should have been a Board resolution to back this up.

But i still find it is great. We should act boldly and strongly when relevant. And we should use our fully independence (which also include the donators) to raise our voice when appropriate.

And we will learn a lot by doing a thing like this, which enables us to became in the future a respected stakeholder in issues like this one

Good luck Michelle and Geoff!


phoebe ayers skrev den 2015-03-12 02:34:
On Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 10:03 PM, MZMcBride <> wrote:

I'm of two minds here. I would love for mass surveillance to stop; the
revelations of the past few years are disgusting. However, this lawsuit
has the appearance of being the start of a completely un-winnable case
that's merely an expensive political stunt. Perhaps especially due to the
SOPA protests, I'm very wary of the Wikimedia Foundation engaging in
stunts like this. I have a few questions.

Has the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees passed a resolution
authorizing the Wikimedia Foundation general counsel and executive
director to pursue this lawsuit? I understand that one board member
(Jimmy) is involved, of course, but something of this scale seems like it
would require explicit authorization.
The board hasn't passed a resolution -- approving actions proposed by
the ED (and in this case general counsel) don't generally require a
resolution -- but we do support this action.

As for cost, remember that the ACLU is filing the suit on the
plaintiffs' (us) behalf. My understanding is our major investment here
is coordination time and our good name.

Whether it's worth us getting involved -- I'd argue of course it is.
The developments of the last few years about mass surveillance have
been egregious, even for the cynical among us. We (Wikimedia) are in a
rare position for an online organization -- of being widely used,
international, beloved, not beholden to corporate or government
interests, and with strong values of privacy, inclusion and openness,
which is reflected in everything from allowing anonymous editor
accounts to not tracking what our readers read. We also happen to be
based in the U.S., so can do things like file lawsuits here.

I trust our legal team to make decisions about what legal actions to
participate in. I also know and acknowledge that this is far from the
only thing that we can do on our own projects to support reader and
user privacy, and also far from the only thing that will have to
happen -- in the courts, in the congress, in technology circles -- to
make any change to policy. But if we could predict the outcome of
every suit before it was filed, the world would be a different place,
and the potential gain here is, I think, certainly worth the risk of


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