Wikipedia Takes Stand Against NSA Spying

by
Owen Poindexter
The Wikimedia foundation, producer of Wikipedia , has released a statement indicating that they will do what they can to prevent the National Security Administration (NSA) and anyone else form spying on their users.

wikipedia, wikimedia, jimmy wales, nsa, https

The Wikimedia foundation, producer of Wikipedia and quietly an organization with incredible moral fortitude (Wikipedia is the fifth most visited website on the internet, and it refuses to run ads), has released a statement indicating that they will do what they can to prevent the National Security Administration (NSA) and anyone else form spying on their users. Ideally, Wikipedia would like to make the https protocol (as opposed to http) the default for all their users. Https provides added encryption, and is more secure, as well as more expensive.

A statement posted by Ryan Lee on Wikimedia’s blog explained the move (links are in Wikimedia's statement, not provided by Carbonated.tv):

"The Wikimedia Foundation believes strongly in protecting the privacy of its readers and editors. Recent leaks of the NSA’s XKeyscore program have prompted our community members to push for the use of HTTPS by default for the Wikimedia projects. Thankfully, this is already a project that was being considered for this year’s official roadmap and it has been on our unofficial roadmap since native HTTPS was enabled.

Our current architecture cannot handle HTTPS by default, but we’ve been incrementally making changes to make it possible. Since we appear to be specifically targeted by XKeyscore, we’ll be speeding up these efforts."

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales challenged the rest of the industry to take similar measures to protect the privacy of its users. Wikimedia, like reddit, is an organization that is as powerful and successful as it is because of its principles. Other top sites, like Facebook and Yahoo, are simply well-marketed and providing a popular service. Those sites bend toward profit more than principle, and in the case of social sites like Facebook, sharing is encouraged (which could actually mean they would benefit from encryption). That Wikipedia protects its users as a natural outgrowth of the organization’s principles shows just how valuable it is to our society.

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