[Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] PRISM, government surveillance, and Wikimedia: Request for community feedback

Bjoern Hoehrmann derhoermi at gmx.net
Sat Jun 15 12:36:57 UTC 2013

* Geoff Brigham wrote:

You are not making a good case there as to what to do and why and how
this community is affected and needs to act. An immediate question seems
to be whether the Wikimedia Foundation should become signatory of the
"Stop Watching Us" open letter. No, the letter puts too much emphasis on
"people in the United States" and "domestic spying" and the Foundation
should not give the impression that that is a special kind of bad. In
the posting above you write:

  Freedom of speech and access to information are core Wikimedia values.
  These values can be compromised by surveillance: editors and readers
  understandably are less willing to write and inform themselves as 
  honestly and freely.

Should the U.S. stop gathering intelligence on people in Iran that con-
tribute on the arabic Wikipedia in articles on nuclear physics? Should
the U.S. carefully limit which signals going in and out of North Korea
it intercepts to protect the privacy of the people there, or would it
be okay if the U.S., say, simply intercepts all Internet traffic and
phone calls and filters the data for anything interesting? Should there
be a "special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public
the extent of" all the foreign intelligence activity of the U.S.? And
bad countries may do all the same things that good countries may do?

I can see nothing obvious that the Foundation could say or do in this
regard at this time, and would expect the community to develop answers
to questions like mine above before calling for action. So, no, I don't
think the Foundation should join those other organisations at this time.
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern at hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
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