[Wikimedia-l] PRISM

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[Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Liam Wyatt
This is a simple question with a potentially very complicated answer.....

What, if any, are the implications of the PRISM scandal for Wikimedia?
Does the fact that our servers are based in the US now compromise our
mission either in a technical, privacy or an ethical sense?


- Liam / Wittylama


--
wittylama.com
Peace, love & metadata
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Fred Bauder-2
All edits and other actions are archived, but I would think there would
be zero interest or utility to NSA. I would simply ignore the matter.

Fred

> This is a simple question with a potentially very complicated answer.....
>
> What, if any, are the implications of the PRISM scandal for Wikimedia?
> Does the fact that our servers are based in the US now compromise our
> mission either in a technical, privacy or an ethical sense?
>
>
> - Liam / Wittylama
>
>
> --
> wittylama.com
> Peace, love & metadata
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Christophe Henner
My understanding is that PRISM focused on private electronic
communication. I can't see a situation where we would be concerned by
that.

But some official statement could help put at ease people worries :)
--
Christophe


On 10 June 2013 03:34, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:

> All edits and other actions are archived, but I would think there would
> be zero interest or utility to NSA. I would simply ignore the matter.
>
> Fred
>
>> This is a simple question with a potentially very complicated answer.....
>>
>> What, if any, are the implications of the PRISM scandal for Wikimedia?
>> Does the fact that our servers are based in the US now compromise our
>> mission either in a technical, privacy or an ethical sense?
>>
>>
>> - Liam / Wittylama
>>
>>
>> --
>> wittylama.com
>> Peace, love & metadata
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Amir E. Aharoni
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder-2
2013/6/9 Fred Bauder <[hidden email]>
>
> All edits and other actions are archived, but I would think there would
> be zero interest or utility to NSA. I would simply ignore the matter.

How about private messages from Special:EmailUser?

Just asking. I haven't studied the subject of PRISM much yet.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Christophe Henner
I think an official statement would be unnecessary and ill advised. It
doesn't affect Wikimedia projects, there is no reason to think it
does, and involving itself would be a mistake the WMF can and should
avoid.

On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 10:12 PM, Christophe Henner
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> My understanding is that PRISM focused on private electronic
> communication. I can't see a situation where we would be concerned by
> that.
>
> But some official statement could help put at ease people worries :)
> --
> Christophe
>
>
> On 10 June 2013 03:34, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> All edits and other actions are archived, but I would think there would
>> be zero interest or utility to NSA. I would simply ignore the matter.
>>
>> Fred
>>
>>> This is a simple question with a potentially very complicated answer.....
>>>
>>> What, if any, are the implications of the PRISM scandal for Wikimedia?
>>> Does the fact that our servers are based in the US now compromise our
>>> mission either in a technical, privacy or an ethical sense?
>>>
>>>
>>> - Liam / Wittylama
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> wittylama.com
>>> Peace, love & metadata
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Anthony-73
There is plenty of reason to think the government would be interested in
Wikipedia access logs.

On the other hand, there's very little reason to believe an organization
when they say they haven't been turning over information under a top secret
order which they're not allowed to tell anyone about.

On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 10:17 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think an official statement would be unnecessary and ill advised. It
> doesn't affect Wikimedia projects, there is no reason to think it
> does, and involving itself would be a mistake the WMF can and should
> avoid.
>
> On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 10:12 PM, Christophe Henner
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > My understanding is that PRISM focused on private electronic
> > communication. I can't see a situation where we would be concerned by
> > that.
> >
> > But some official statement could help put at ease people worries :)
> > --
> > Christophe
> >
> >
> > On 10 June 2013 03:34, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> All edits and other actions are archived, but I would think there would
> >> be zero interest or utility to NSA. I would simply ignore the matter.
> >>
> >> Fred
> >>
> >>> This is a simple question with a potentially very complicated
> answer.....
> >>>
> >>> What, if any, are the implications of the PRISM scandal for Wikimedia?
> >>> Does the fact that our servers are based in the US now compromise our
> >>> mission either in a technical, privacy or an ethical sense?
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> - Liam / Wittylama
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> wittylama.com
> >>> Peace, love & metadata
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> >>> [hidden email]
> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> >> [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Benoit Landry
What "information" could the WMF disclose that isn't already available to
some volunteers anyhow? The IP addresses of logged-in editors are visible to
volunteer CUs; deleted revisions and log entries are visible to all
volunteers admins. Wikipedia's inherently a pretty transparent system...

~~~~,
Salvidrim!

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony
Sent: Sunday, June 09, 2013 10:37 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

There is plenty of reason to think the government would be interested in
Wikipedia access logs.

On the other hand, there's very little reason to believe an organization
when they say they haven't been turning over information under a top secret
order which they're not allowed to tell anyone about.

On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 10:17 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think an official statement would be unnecessary and ill advised. It
> doesn't affect Wikimedia projects, there is no reason to think it
> does, and involving itself would be a mistake the WMF can and should
> avoid.
>
> On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 10:12 PM, Christophe Henner
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > My understanding is that PRISM focused on private electronic
> > communication. I can't see a situation where we would be concerned by
> > that.
> >
> > But some official statement could help put at ease people worries :)
> > --
> > Christophe
> >
> >
> > On 10 June 2013 03:34, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> All edits and other actions are archived, but I would think there would
> >> be zero interest or utility to NSA. I would simply ignore the matter.
> >>
> >> Fred
> >>
> >>> This is a simple question with a potentially very complicated
> answer.....
> >>>
> >>> What, if any, are the implications of the PRISM scandal for Wikimedia?
> >>> Does the fact that our servers are based in the US now compromise our
> >>> mission either in a technical, privacy or an ethical sense?
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> - Liam / Wittylama
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> wittylama.com
> >>> Peace, love & metadata
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> >>> [hidden email]
> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> >> [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Anthony-73
On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 10:53 PM, Benoit Landry <[hidden email]>wrote:

> What "information" could the WMF disclose that isn't already available to
> some volunteers anyhow?


I don't know what information "some volunteers" have access to, who
qualifies as "some volunteers" (does the board qualify?), or why it matters
whether or not a person is a volunteer.

By access logs I meant HTTP access logs.  It's pretty clear that without
taking extraordinary measures, what you're editing is not anonymous.  But
some people are probably under the impression that what they're reading and
searching (and linking from) is private.

The IP addresses of logged-in editors are visible to volunteer CUs;


En-masse, or one-request-at-a-time?

deleted revisions and log entries are visible to all volunteers admins.
> Wikipedia's inherently a pretty transparent system...
>

Transparent?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Craig Franklin
I'd suggest that while Wikimedia projects are somewhat less susceptible to
PRISM-style snooping, simply because we're not a communications medium like
Google or Facebook are.  However, there is plenty of non-public information
that could be of interest:

- The IP addresses and identities of logged on users
- Server logs (including logs of users who use the https version of the
sites)
- Times, dates, and possibly contents of emails sent through the "Email
this user" functionality
- Other information that is not kept at the application (MediaWiki) layer,
but possibly could be logged at the database or OS layers.

I wouldn't say that there's nothing to worry about, but at the same time I
doubt we're near the top of the spooks' priority list.

Cheers,
Craig Franklin


On 10 June 2013 13:05, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 10:53 PM, Benoit Landry <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
>
> > What "information" could the WMF disclose that isn't already available to
> > some volunteers anyhow?
>
>
> I don't know what information "some volunteers" have access to, who
> qualifies as "some volunteers" (does the board qualify?), or why it matters
> whether or not a person is a volunteer.
>
> By access logs I meant HTTP access logs.  It's pretty clear that without
> taking extraordinary measures, what you're editing is not anonymous.  But
> some people are probably under the impression that what they're reading and
> searching (and linking from) is private.
>
> The IP addresses of logged-in editors are visible to volunteer CUs;
>
>
> En-masse, or one-request-at-a-time?
>
> deleted revisions and log entries are visible to all volunteers admins.
> > Wikipedia's inherently a pretty transparent system...
> >
>
> Transparent?
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Anthony-73
On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 12:05 AM, Craig Franklin
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> I wouldn't say that there's nothing to worry about, but at the same time I
> doubt we're near the top of the spooks' priority list.
>

Maybe not priority-wise, but remember that the cooperation between
Mediawiki developers and the CIA goes back several years at the least.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

K. Peachey-2
On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Maybe not priority-wise, but remember that the cooperation between
> Mediawiki developers and the CIA goes back several years at the least.


Please feel free to elaborate, Just because they use MediaWiki doesn't
mean the developers are cooperating with them.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Benjamin Lees
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 11:05 PM, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> By access logs I meant HTTP access logs.  It's pretty clear that without
> taking extraordinary measures, what you're editing is not anonymous.  But
> some people are probably under the impression that what they're reading and
> searching (and linking from) is private.
>

http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.foundation/49712/focus=49727 is
probably relevant (if what Domas said then is still true).
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Federico Leva (Nemo)
Benjamin Lees, 10/06/2013 08:13:
>
> http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.foundation/49712/focus=49727 is
> probably relevant (if what Domas said then is still true).

While I'm not aware of privacy changing substantially, speaking of
fantastic names, Kraken is going to change things a bit compared to 2010:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Analytics/Kraken/Request_Logging
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Analytics/Kraken/Data_Formats

I didn't find a human-readable overview but the gist seems to be that
WMF will log the same (partial) data, but for 100 % of visits rather
than 1/1000.
More technical members of the list will be able to tell more from the
specifications and source code.

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by Liam Wyatt
Federico Leva wrote:
>...
> WMF will log the same (partial) data, but for 100 % of visits rather than 1/1000.

How much more will that cause the Foundation to spend on processing
subpoenas from law enforcement agencies? Will those agencies be
charged for the time and organizational overhead of their requests?
Will they be charged for the chilling effects on readers?

How can we measure the cost of chilling effects on readers for 100% logging?

I think this is a terrible idea. It's a huge step backwards to go from
statistical sampling to logging all accesses. Exactly as far backwards
as transitioning to A/B testing to multivariate analysis of
fundraising messaging would be a step forwards. People say that
donors' funds should be spent efficiently. When is the Foundation
actually going to do so on both of these subjects?

"increasing surveillance ... does not decrease ... criminal
activities. Ironically, ... increased surveillance might ... increase
the number of inmates"
-- http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42937.pdf

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Tobias
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)
On 06/10/2013 08:49 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:

> Benjamin Lees, 10/06/2013 08:13:
>>
>> http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.org.wikimedia.foundation/49712/focus=49727
>> is
>> probably relevant (if what Domas said then is still true).
>
> While I'm not aware of privacy changing substantially, speaking of
> fantastic names, Kraken is going to change things a bit compared to 2010:
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Analytics/Kraken/Request_Logging
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Analytics/Kraken/Data_Formats
>
> I didn't find a human-readable overview but the gist seems to be that
> WMF will log the same (partial) data, but for 100 % of visits rather
> than 1/1000.
> More technical members of the list will be able to tell more from the
> specifications and source code.

Interesting... I couldn't really find much information about the privacy
concepts of Kraken, though the flow diagram suggests that the raw data
(which I suppose includes the kind of data we discussed earlier, i.e.
IP, time and date, accessed content, ...) is kept for 7 days until it is
anonymized. Is that true? If so, it seems like a huge mistake to me.

-- Tobias


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Benoit Landry
Precisely, they could ask to have "CU" accounts...

Flo

On 6/10/13 4:53 AM, Benoit Landry wrote:

> What "information" could the WMF disclose that isn't already available
> to some volunteers anyhow? The IP addresses of logged-in editors are
> visible to volunteer CUs; deleted revisions and log entries are visible
> to all volunteers admins. Wikipedia's inherently a pretty transparent
> system...
>
> ~~~~,
> Salvidrim!
>
> -----Original Message----- From: Anthony
> Sent: Sunday, June 09, 2013 10:37 PM
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM
>
> There is plenty of reason to think the government would be interested in
> Wikipedia access logs.
>
> On the other hand, there's very little reason to believe an organization
> when they say they haven't been turning over information under a top secret
> order which they're not allowed to tell anyone about.
>
> On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 10:17 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I think an official statement would be unnecessary and ill advised. It
>> doesn't affect Wikimedia projects, there is no reason to think it
>> does, and involving itself would be a mistake the WMF can and should
>> avoid.
>>
>> On Sun, Jun 9, 2013 at 10:12 PM, Christophe Henner
>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > My understanding is that PRISM focused on private electronic
>> > communication. I can't see a situation where we would be concerned by
>> > that.
>> >
>> > But some official statement could help put at ease people worries :)
>> > --
>> > Christophe
>> >
>> >
>> > On 10 June 2013 03:34, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >> All edits and other actions are archived, but I would think there
>> would
>> >> be zero interest or utility to NSA. I would simply ignore the matter.
>> >>
>> >> Fred
>> >>
>> >>> This is a simple question with a potentially very complicated
>> answer.....
>> >>>
>> >>> What, if any, are the implications of the PRISM scandal for
>> Wikimedia?
>> >>> Does the fact that our servers are based in the US now compromise our
>> >>> mission either in a technical, privacy or an ethical sense?
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> - Liam / Wittylama
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> --
>> >>> wittylama.com
>> >>> Peace, love & metadata
>> >>> _______________________________________________
>> >>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> >>> [hidden email]
>> >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> >> [hidden email]
>> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> > [hidden email]
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

David Gerard-2
On 10 June 2013 10:56, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Precisely, they could ask to have "CU" accounts...


There are people who closely monitor who has what powers.


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Christophe Henner
Everything passing over the internet is archived. Nearly everything done
at Wikipedia passes over the internet.

Fred

> My understanding is that PRISM focused on private electronic
> communication. I can't see a situation where we would be concerned by
> that.
>
> But some official statement could help put at ease people worries :)
> --
> Christophe
>
>
> On 10 June 2013 03:34, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> All edits and other actions are archived, but I would think there would
>> be zero interest or utility to NSA. I would simply ignore the matter.
>>
>> Fred
>>
>>> This is a simple question with a potentially very complicated
>>> answer.....
>>>
>>> What, if any, are the implications of the PRISM scandal for Wikimedia?
>>> Does the fact that our servers are based in the US now compromise our
>>> mission either in a technical, privacy or an ethical sense?
>>>
>>>
>>> - Liam / Wittylama
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> wittylama.com
>>> Peace, love & metadata
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
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>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Tobias
In reply to this post by Benoit Landry
On 06/10/2013 04:53 AM, Benoit Landry wrote:
> What "information" could the WMF disclose that isn't already available
> to some volunteers anyhow? The IP addresses of logged-in editors are
> visible to volunteer CUs; deleted revisions and log entries are visible
> to all volunteers admins. Wikipedia's inherently a pretty transparent
> system...

The fact that the information is available to some users is irrelevant.
If I send a private message through facebook, I do not want it to be
read by anyone other than the receipient. Same thing if I send an email
through a WMF wiki.

You are right, some information is available to more than one user. That
doesn't mean it should be available to some three letter agency.

Checkuser is a perfect example, as we have policies and safeguards in
place to make sure its use is limited to a small set of cases. It is
inherently a different kind of use than what the NSA would do, if it
were able to access our logs.

--Tobias


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] PRISM

Fred Bauder-2
In reply to this post by Anthony-73
> There is plenty of reason to think the government would be interested in
> Wikipedia access logs.
>
> On the other hand, there's very little reason to believe an organization
> when they say they haven't been turning over information under a top
> secret
> order which they're not allowed to tell anyone about.

Correct. If Osama Bin Laden had been editing Wikipedia, before his death
of course, through some account in Pakistan, it would have been rather
reasonable to respond favorable to a request for information. But "plenty
of reason to think the government would be interested in Wikipedia access
logs" No, massive amounts of information about people doing ordinary
things like editing articles about Homer Simpson is kind of the opposite
of intelligence; it IS the haystack, not the needle.

Fred


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