For many years my part of England used to rely on a radio station based in
Luxembourg. When it comes to potential host countries for Wikimedia there
is a lot to be said for choosing a country that is small enough to rather
like the idea of hosting the world's favourite reference site, even if that
means a few changes to copyright and publishing laws and some upset to
international relations. Somehow I don't see the US, or a country a
thirtieth that size, being overly bothered at ceasing to be the host nation
for an organisation the size of this movement

Norway, Iceland or pretty much any Scandinavian country has a case here,
though Norway and Finland both border Russia, which could be an issue.

Switzerland might work, though their banking industry would make them an
odd host for a site that amongst other things documents the doings of the
rich and powerful. However, like Luxembourg, San Marino, Andorra and
Liechtenstein, they do have that rare advantage of being immune to gunboat

Ireland and New Zealand are also interesting possibilities, small enough
and independent minded enough that they might see the extra jobs and
international impact as more than worth any aggro.

A sensible way forward would be to write up the specification for such a
location, including the technology - you'd want to connect to a major spine
of the internet; But also the publishing, copyright and libel laws that we
need, and then have the WMF email the business development agencies of the
governments concerned inviting them to express an  interest.

The net result might involve us making a change, for example I would hope
we'd be willing to lose the Fair Use protection of US law in order to find
a more congenial home for the movement.



> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2020 11:58:22 -0400
> From: Samuel Klein <>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Moving the technical infrastructure out of
>         the US
> Message-ID:
>         <
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> We should have technical partners in multiple other jurisdictions that
> could help in a crisis, and load bearing infrastructure in at least one of
> them, and a plan for how and when to switch. (The walkthrough of what would
> be needed for a smooth transfer send most important, and useful for general
> reliability planning)
> We should also fully support and realize Wikimedia-on-ipfs, similar to what
> the internet archive had been doing. (Santhosh has some excellent ideas
> there)
> ????
> On Wed., Sep. 30, 2020, 5:35 a.m. Dan Garry (Deskana), <>
> wrote:
> > On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 at 09:49, Erik Moeller <> wrote:
> >
> > > I hope that some preliminary contingency plans exist or are being
> > > developed, and I'm sure that the movement-wide debate will widen if
> > > the US continues its downward slide into authoritarianism.
> > >
> >
> > I agree with Erik. Even under the Obama administration, there were
> threats
> > to the existence of the movement, such as SOPA [1] which lead to a
> blackout
> > [2]. One can extrapolate from current events that these threats could
> well
> > get larger and more frequent, rather than smaller and less frequent,
> should
> > someone in the US Government decide to focus their attention on attacking
> > Wikipedia and free knowledge. It would be prudent to create a contingency
> > plan which includes an exploration of other options for a location of
> > operation for the Wikimedia Foundation and/or its servers, with their
> > advantages and disadvantages. I personally wouldn't necessarily advocate
> > for making the plan public; that would be ideal, but I'd be comforted
> > merely to know it exists.
> >
> > On Tue, 29 Sep 2020 at 23:36, Joseph Seddon <>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I believe options are going to be explored for sustainability but right
> > now
> > > legally speaking the US is the best jurisdiction for hosting us now and
> > the
> > > foreseeable future.
> > >
> >
> > I agree with this too. For now, the United States remains the best place
> > for the organisation to operate out of, and a move should not be actively
> > considered.
> >
> > Dan
> >
> > [1]:
> > [2]:
> >
> >
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