[Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Theo10011 de10011 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 10 12:59:35 UTC 2013

I don't understand this line of discussion.

>From an intelligence stand-point, the goal of the program seems to be
communication interception COMINT through SIGAD means. From phone calls, to
emails, to private and public posts. I'm not sure how that would have any
bearing on Wikipedia though, the purpose there is to write an article, fix
typos, add pictures, occasionally there is cross-communication between
different editors. Nearly all of it is visible to the world. I read Domas'
email[1] linked to by Benjamin Lees, he seems pretty clear that there is
nothing hidden and discussions like this are a waste of time.

This is one of the big benefit of the open culture. There is little hidden
about Wikipedia, or even Wikimedia. There are no secret server logs, and
I'm not sure what they would actually be of. Most of the logs are already
there in revisions, and the entire copy of Wikipedia can just be downloaded
without anyone's permission and inspected to death.

As far as CU checks go, I think we've made a bigger deal of it on wiki than
it has, in real world implication. They just pull information from the
headers, that virtually any server that has a visitor has access to. If a
system with a breadth like PRISM can exist and monitor virtually all
communication traffic across multiple countries, - in comparison, figuring
out someone's header info or extracting their browser choice and IP address
would be the least useful thing to them. And then drowned between a deluge
of IP addresses, most of which are already dynamic, would reveal what,
exactly- a user from Russian fixed a typo today, a user from Spain likes
ice cream, someone else uploaded a picture of their dog.

I guess what I'm saying is, all this wouldn't be hard to do - but there is
absolutely no utility any decent intelligence community can expect to gain
from this, when they have access to your email accounts and phone records,
this seems like a giant waste of time when 90% of it is already up there
for anyone to see.

The irony here is perhaps that we're having a discussion about a top-secret
government monitoring program on a publicly archived indexed list, most of
us using email accounts which the program actually *does* monitor, all to
talk about exposure to wikipedia which has no such thing to archive,
monitor or hide.



On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 5:59 PM, Craig Franklin
<cfranklin at halonetwork.net>wrote:

> If the NSA, CIA, or some other spook agency is getting information off of
> Wikimedia servers, they don't have a CU account or anything like that.
>  They'd have a program running at the operating system level that extracts
> the data in a standardised format and sends it off to some secret server
> somewhere where it can be collated for data mining purposes.  If they have
> some way of getting private information, it's going to be well hidden and
> not something you or I are likely to (or capable of) stumbling across.
> Cheers,
> Craig
> On 10 June 2013 20:09, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 10 June 2013 10:56, Florence Devouard <anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Precisely, they could ask to have "CU" accounts...
> >
> >
> > There are people who closely monitor who has what powers.
> >
> >
> > - d.
> >
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