[Wikipedia-l] Expanding CheckUser permissions

Faraaz Damji frazzydee at spymac.com
Tue Apr 12 12:05:10 UTC 2005

Agreed: it is becoming increasingly important to be able to check
sockpuppets, and it would be beneficial to both the Wikipedia community
(in all wikipedias) as well as the developers if the ability was made
more widely available.

One feature that might be important in [[Special:CheckUser]] is to see
matches in the class c subset (is that what the last few digits are
called?)...IMO it should be able to do this if implemented.

There isn't too much violation of privacy since:
a) User contributions are already made publicly available
b) Their IP address isn't actually shown (or is it?)

But I would definitely understand that there might be some problems with
it, and I think making it admin-only would be preferred.

Blog: http://frazzydee.ca

Version: 3.1
GCS d? s:- a--- C+++ UL++ P+ L+ E---- W++ N+ o+ K+ w+
O? M-- V? PS++ PE Y PGP++ t 5-- X+ R tv b++ DI++ D+
G++ e- h! !r !z

Angela wrote:
> Requests have recently been made to the Board asking for verification
> that a user is sockpuppeting on one of the larger Wikipedias. At least
> two of the developers felt this was a matter for the Board or for an
> arbitration committee (although that Wikipedia doesn't have an
> arbcom), and were therefore not happy to give out details about the IP
> address of this user. Checking IPs is no longer a developer-only task
> since a new feature allows sockpuppet checks.
> [[Special:CheckUser]] allows a user with "checkuser" permissions to
> find all the IP addresses used by a particular logged in user, and to
> show all the contributions from a given IP address, including those
> made by logged in users.
> Currently the only people with the necessary permissions to use
> CheckUser are Tim Starling (who wrote the code for this) and David
> Gerard (who uses it on behalf of the English Wikipedia Arbitration
> Committee).
> This data is only stored for one week, so edits made prior to that
> will not be shown via CheckUser. A log is kept of who has made which
> queries with the tool. This log is available to those with the
> checkuser permissions.
> I would personally like to see this feature be made available to more
> communities than just the English Wikipedia, but I am concerned about
> potential misuse of it, and the violation of privacy for users who
> have not been disruptive. I would appreciate any comments about this
> feature, and answers to the questions below, either here or on on Meta
> <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/CheckUser>.
> Do you think this feature should be made more widely available? 
> If so, who should be given access to it? 
> Should it be limited to stewards, or to wikis with arbitration committees? 
> Does the privacy policy
> <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Privacy_policy> need be adjusted to
> allow the use of this feature?
> Angela.
> --
> Angela Beesley
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Angela
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