Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kudos to Wikipedia for Pursuing Free Speech and Personal Privacy




Andrea Peterson (March 10 2015). Wikipedia is suing the NSA over online spying . Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/03/10/wikipedia-is-suing-the-nsa-over-online-spying/?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

[Excerpted] The nonprofit behind Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, is suing the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice over a government surveillance program.... "We are asking the court to order an end to the NSA's dragnet surveillance of Internet traffic," Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales wrote in a New York Times opinion piece about the suit.
 
The Justice Department spokesperson said the agency is reviewing the complaint. The NSA did not immediately respond a request for comment about the suit.
 

The suit alleges that the government has been tapping into cables that are part of the Internet's infrastructure, a practice often called "Upstream" collection, which violates the First and Fourth Amendments, according to a blog post from Wikimedia…. Some Snowden documents appeared to show that the government is tapping into cables that connect the United States to the rest of the online world. One government slide disclosed by Snowden suggested that Wikipedia and its users were targeted as part of government surveillance programs, the lawsuit alleges.

....there may be other legal hurdles. Last month, Jewel v. NSA hit a significant roadblock when a federal judge sided with the government's state secret defense -- ruling that the plaintiffs could not win their challenge over NSA tapping of the Internet backbone without disclosing information that would harm national security.

KUDOS to Wikipedia and its supporters for tackling the incredibly important problem of surveillance and free speech in a period of growing authoritarianism.

 

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