[Foundation-l] Wikipedia tracks user behaviour via third party companies

Jon scream at nonvocalscream.com
Thu Jun 4 17:52:50 UTC 2009

Hash: SHA1

Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 6:01 AM, Neil Harris<usenet at tonal.clara.co.uk>
>> Surely this is something which should be possible to block at the
>> MediaWiki level, by suppressing the generation of any HTML  that loads
>> any indirect resources (scripts, iframes, images, etc.) whatsoever other
>> than from a clearly defined whitelist of Wikimedia-Foundation-controlled
>> domains?
> Not possible as long as we allow JS to be added.  See [[halting problem]].
> On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 6:20 AM, John at Darkstar<vacuum at jeb.no> wrote:
>> User privacy on Wikipedia is is close to a public hoax, pages are
>> transfered unencrypted and with user names in clear text. Anyone with
>> access to a public hub is able to intercept and identify users, in
>> addition to _all_ websites that are referenced during an edit on
>> Wikipedia through correlation of logs.
> This only works for getting info on totally random Wikipedia users,
> who happen to edit using your router.  This isn't a serious compromise
> of privacy for practical purposes due to the resources required to get
> info on a large number of users, or to target a specific user.  Users
> who are concerned about this, however, can use secure.wikimedia.org.
> Note that if you make edits, it should be pretty easy for a MITM to
> figure out your IP address even if you're using SSL: 1) Watch all
> traffic going to Wikimedia IP addresses.  2) Guess which traffic
> streams correspond to edits by looking at the amount of data the
> client is sending.  3) Correlate suspected edits with RecentChanges
> over a period of time.  Once they know your IP address, if they're a
> MITM, they can still figure out what sites you're accessing, just not
> the exact pages (or exact domain in the case of virtual hosting).
> So if you want real privacy against MITMs, you still need to use
> something like Tor, as usual.
> On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 12:53 PM, Robert Rohde<rarohde at gmail.com> wrote:
>> One idea is the proposal to install the AbuseFilter in a global mode,
>> i.e. rules loaded at Meta that apply everywhere.  If that were done
>> (and there are some arguments about whether it is a good idea), then
>> it could be used to block these types of URLs from being installed,
>> even by admins.
> No, it wouldn't.
> document.write('<script' + ' src="' + 'http://www.go' + 'ogle-an' +
> 'alytics.com/urc' + 'hin.js" type="text/javascript"></script>');
> Obviously more complicated obfuscation is possible.  JavaScript is
> Turing-complete.  You can't reliably figure out whether it will output
> a specific string.
> However, perhaps a default AbuseFilter could be installed telling
> admins that installing Analytics is a violation of Foundation policy
> and that they'll get desysopped if they continue.  That wouldn't stop
> them from doing it if they were determined, but it might be able to
> trigger an alert to get the appropriate parties to make sure they
> didn't try evading it.  Maybe the filter could be installed on Meta
> and local violations could go to Meta logs so stewards will see?  Are
> global filters possible right now?
> At a bare minimum, such a warning would reduce inadvertent errors.
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Has apache/proxy level filtering been considered?

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org


More information about the foundation-l mailing list