This, I admit,
is also a completely different kind of a position than
the one originally suggested by Angela and worthy of a seperate thread,
having nothing to do with the checkuser issue.
Anthere. Not Angela.
We are two different people.
I apologize on this issue. I tried to look in the e-mail stack (there
has been a bunch of stuff here on this topic) and I thought it was
Angela who proposed this based on some earlier comments. I should have
dug a little deeper here on this issue before I named names.
If you come to Wikimania (I hope you do),
I would love to come, but time and money are going to make it difficult
for me this year. Perhaps next year? Being in North America helps for
me, but it is in the wrong end of North America for me to make it
easily. Like the distance from Siberia to Paris if you want to compare
Please note that I was trying to explain what an ombudsman was, and
perhaps what a board-appointed one would be like, although admittedly in
a very different area from the proposal related to check user status.
I have had the checkuser status since its beginning. I
complaints for abuse (generally not justified). I studied these
trying to delegate this to others (thus proposing the creation of an
The benefits would be
1) complaints explored by neutral people (rather than a party)
2) complaints hopefully handled in a more timely fashion
3) more free time for me :-)
I really think we need this to be "independant" party.
I think in this situation, if you want to encourage independence, you
need to change it to a broader issue than just checkuser issues. The
whole reason for the parnoia over being really stingy regarding
checkuser issues is mainly dealing with the Wikimedia Foundation privacy
policy and potential violations of that policy. It is indeed in these
violations, and other privacy issues unrelated to checkuser scans, that
is the main concern about why such an ombudsman would be necessary. And
this should be something board appointed if we are talking somebody who
understands throughally both the meaning and intent of the privacy
policy, as well as the legal implications if people with access to
private information violate this policy.
there is a legal issue that comes up that requires disclosure of private
a libel lawsuit involving a Wikimedia user where there is a court order
to disclose the IP address and other information about a user who made
an edit. Also, if some user thinks information about themselves is
improperly being disclosed, either through a check user scan or like has
been done on Wikibooks for publishing author information, that user can
seek an independent and authoritative legal opinion about the issue and
even recommend to project admins or stewards to take action correcting
Because this is a legal position, there are obviously specific
requirements that somebody must meet before they can be in this
position. For that reason alone, I think it would be better to be an
appointed position through the Wikimedia Foundation. The fact that the
individual project policy also reinforces this aspect of being an
Robert Scott Horning