[Foundation-l] CIA/NSA development of mediawiki (was: Wikia leasing office space to WMF)

geni geniice at gmail.com
Sun Jan 25 03:51:36 UTC 2009

2009/1/25 Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+wikilist at gmail.com>:
> On Sat, Jan 24, 2009 at 10:27 PM, geni <geniice at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I wouldn't bet on that
> No offense intended, but I'm curious: do you do any software development?

No. But we know that accidental security issues slip through. Betting
you can beat the NSA's ability to hide deliberate flaws is not the
safest of options. That said I doubt they would take the risk.

> Personally I would see no problem with any degree of association
> between Wikimedia and the CIA, as long as it didn't compromise
> transparency or anything.  Then again, I'm a neocon and have no
> objections to the CIA whatsoever.  I'm not sure if the CIA was meant
> to be an example of an indisputably evil organization, because it
> doesn't work for me.

The CIA were meant as an example of an organisation who used mediawiki
on a large scale that some people would be less than happy having
dealings with.

We know that various governments are looking to influence wikipedia
content (heh we've also been told that there is at least one article
in wikipedia that one bit of the CIA thinks another bit of the CIA
shouldn't know about). For the moment I have no reason to believe any
of these attempts go beyond normal PR methods (oh with the exception
of part of the US government dealing with illegal drugs but I don't
think they realised what they were doing). We would like it to stay
that way. It is understandable that people would be concerned if an
organisation with influencing non US opinion as one of it's goals
started getting too close to the WMF.

However this hasn't happened so not too many worries.


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