[Foundation-l] Wikimedia Foundation switching to Google Apps?

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Tue Oct 26 20:30:19 UTC 2010

Nathan wrote:
> I don't know about anyone else, but I couldn't possibly care less what
> office software the Foundation uses. I suppose the paranoid conspiracy
> theory of a Google takeover fueled by illicit access to WMF data
> doesn't strike me as remotely realistic.

There was a story about a month ago in which a Google employee was fired for
snooping on e-mail of minors he had befriended.[1] I think the part that
struck me most about the story was that the employee apparently wasn't very
high up in the company, but still had the ability to read people's e-mails,
their Gtalk conversations, and even get their phone numbers, according to
the articles published about the incident.

Perhaps it's very unlikely that Google would snoop on Wikimedia's e-mail, I
can't say one way or another. I can say that I was disturbed by the news
story and I can say that Google definitely has a business interest here
(anyone remember Knol?).

Perhaps Google Apps has some terrific benefits that Wikimedia sorely needs;
that was the reason I asked what benefits Wikimedia saw in migrating their
systems in my original post. However, from where I'm standing, the cost
versus benefits simply don't add up, particularly when you consider what
impact this might have from a public relations/perceptions standpoint.

I think the broader issue of Wikimedia using non-open source software is one
that needs clarification, as it still seems very murky to me.



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