Thursday, August 16, 2007

Did you Know

This story appeared on Yahoo Australia this morning......

I feel this is censorship gone mad. There is a saying 'History is written by the Victors'.... however in this day and age, is it still appropriate to allow this to happen to everything we read, research, think and say? This kind of bullshit public censorship is just one more nail in the coffin of free speech......

Friday August 17, 09:02 AM
CIA, FBI computers 'editing Wikipedia'
People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program.

The changes may violate Wikipedia's conflict of interest guidelines, a spokeswoman for the site said.

The program, WikiScanner, was developed by Virgil Griffith of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico and posted this month on a website that was quickly overwhelmed with searches.

The program allows users to track the source of computers used to make changes to the popular internet encyclopedia where anyone can submit and edit entries.

WikiScanner revealed that CIA computers were used to edit an entry on the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. A graphic on casualties was edited to add that many figures were estimated and were not broken down by class.

Another entry on former CIA chief William Colby was edited by CIA computers to expand his career history and discuss the merits of a Vietnam War rural pacification program that he headed.

Aerial and satellite images of the US prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were removed using a computer traced to the FBI, WikiScanner showed.

CIA spokesman George Little said he could not confirm whether CIA computers were used in the changes, adding that "the agency always expects its computer systems to be used responsibly".

The FBI did not have an immediate response.

Computers at numerous other organisations and companies were found to have been involved in editing articles related to them.

Griffith said he developed WikiScanner "to create minor public relations disasters for companies and organisations I dislike (and) to see what 'interesting organisations' (which I am neutral towards) are up to".

It was not known whether changes were made by an official representative of an agency or company, Griffith said, but it was certain the change was made by someone with access to the organisation's network.

It violates Wikipedia's neutrality guidelines for a person with close ties to an issue to contribute to an entry about it, said spokeswoman Sandy Ordonez of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia's parent organisation.

However, she said, "Wikipedia is self-correcting," meaning misleading entries can be quickly revised by another editor. She said Wikimedia welcomed the WikiScanner.

WikiScanner can be found at wikiscanner.virgil.gr/

1 comment:

GAY BIPOLAR GUY said...

I read about this. The act and implications are staggering. Also, these surreptitious changes have been made by private interest groups and corporations. For example, Wall-Mart changed a post that originally said Wall-Mart employees make wages which are low or even below minimum wage to one that says Wall-Mart employees make the highest wages anywhere. The continuing horror is that these transgressions now fall unforgotten by the American public. Take away access to truthful information, and you have nothing.

People say I'm being paranoid (I don't wear tin foil on my head nor see secret agents around every corner) when I say the daily slide from democratic rule and civil liberties is major.
Now, because the government has declared that our greatest threat comes from "home grown" terrorists, a passport is required for National parks and all federal buildings. The implications of this are staggering. Oh, how I want to emigrate to evil Canada.

Great post!