On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 7:00 AM Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Steven Walling has written an interesting answer on Quora about one aspect
> of the New York Times op-ed, i.e. the threat NSA surveillance supposedly
> poses to Wikipedians living under oppressive regimes:
> https://www.quora.com/Would-stopping-NSA-surveillance-
> really-make-Wikipedia-editors-living-under-repressive-
> governments-safer/answer/Steven-Walling

Chiming in since this is my answer... Keep in mind questions on Quora are
pretty tightly scoped, i.e. this isn't necessarily an indictment of the
rationale for suing NSA overall. It's an answer to a specific aspect of the
arguments. If we want to argue about whether NSA dragnet surveillance is
overall a threat to Wikipedia as an educational project, there's a whole
other set of arguments that I think potentially support this action,
including the fact that a complete lack of privacy has a chilling effect on
editing regardless of what country you reside in, and that we promise
readers that their reading activity isn't tracked.**

The big tradeoff for me as a Wikipedian is whether this suit takes time,
attention, and funds away from tackling core challenges like the decline in
readership, editor recruitment/retention, and modernizing our software
platform. I think the fact that this is being led by ACLU, and that the
main cost to WMF seems to be in some time/attention of legal, comms, etc.
makes me feel a bit more comfortable. I do worry about dragging away Lila's
attention from these deep intractable problems with the ecosystem, but I'm
not really comfortable standing up to say this whole endeavor is a waste of
time or a bad use of the brand. We also don't really know how this is
dominating her or any other staffer's time, because we're not their bosses.
(Thankfully for them.)

** If anyone here wants to add their 2 cents, please do. There's also a
question at
which is relevant.

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