Home Tags Posts tagged with "wikipedia"


Wikimedia Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency alleging its mass surveillance program violates US laws on freedom of speech.

The legal action has also been filed against the US Department of Justice.

The legal action, co-signed by eight other organizations, seeks to end the NSA’s large-scale surveillance efforts.

The Foundation is the non-profit group that oversees the running of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia.

The Wikmedia Foundation said it was taking action against the NSA’s so-called “upstream” surveillance work which targets communication with people not in the US.

Such spying violates US laws on free speech and those that govern against unreasonable search and seizure, it said.Wikipedia sues NSA and DoJ

The scale of the monitoring carried out by the NSA has been revealed in documents made public by whistleblower Edward Snowden over the last two years. Some of those papers show the NSA tapped the net’s backbone network to siphon off data. The backbone is made up of high-speed cables that link big ISPs and key transit points on the net.

“By tapping the backbone of the internet, the NSA is straining the backbone of democracy,” said Lila Tretikov, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, in a blogpost announcing the legal action.

Targeting the backbone means the NSA casts a “vast net” and inevitably scoops up data unrelated to any target and will also include domestic communications, violating the rules governing what the NSA can spy on, said Lila Tretikov.

Information in the Snowden papers revealed that Wikipedia has been explicitly targeted, said the blogpost.

“By violating our users’ privacy, the NSA is threatening the intellectual freedom that is central to people’s ability to create and understand knowledge,” said Lila Tretikov.

In an accompanying editorial published in the New York Times, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said he hoped the lawsuit would bring an “end to the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of Internet traffic”.

Other organizations joining the lawsuit include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Global Fund for Women.

[youtube 1aYQ1yq4K18 650]

Russia is planning to develop an alternative version of the Wikipedia, the presidential library has announced.

A statement said the initiative aimed to provide better information about Russia than is available on Wikipedia.

Analysis had shown that Wikipedia “does not have enough detailed and reliable information about Russian regions and the life of the country”, it said.

Some 50,000 books and documents had been collected, it said, to portray Russia “objectively and accurately”.

However, the new site has some catching up to do – Wikipedia is the world’s sixth most popular website. The Russian edition has more than one million entries.

The move comes amid increasing Kremlin control of the web.

In August, laws were enacted forcing bloggers with more than 3,000 daily readers to register with the mass media regulator.

In March, websites run by opponents and critics of President Vladimir Putin were blocked.

[youtube kBUhVim-4ws 650]

Wikipedia has imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives, following “persistent disruptive editing”.

The 10-day block comes after anonymous changes were made to entries on politicians and businesses, as well as events like the Kennedy assassination.

The biography of former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an “alien lizard”.

One staffer said they were being banned for the “actions of two or three”.

Edits from computers using the IP address belonging to the House of Representatives have been banned before, following similar acts of vandalism.

Wikipedia has imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives

Wikipedia has imposed a ban on page edits from computers at the US House of Representatives (photo Wikipedia)

The latest block comes after rogue edits were brought to light by a Twitter feed, @congressedits, which posts every change made from the government-owned address.

One of the acts highlighted was an alteration to the page on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which was changed to say that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting “on behalf of the regime of Fidel Castro”.

An entry on the moon landing conspiracy theories was changed to say they were “promoted by the Cuban government”.

Another entry, on the Ukrainian politician Nataliya Vitrenko, was edited to claim that she was a “Russian puppet”.

The biography of Donald Rumsfeld was revised, describing him as an “alien lizard who eats Mexican babies”.

However, the edit that finally brought administrators to ban anonymous edits from the House IP address was made on the entry for media news site Mediaite.

Mediaite had previously run a story on the rogue edits from congressional computers.

Wikipedians have been warning editors from the House of Representatives since March 2012, and moved to block the address for one day earlier this month.

On July 24, the IP address was blocked for 10 days, but one staffer protested that they were being punished for the actions of a few.


Looking for a Wikipedia entry of Cressida Bonas?


Cressida is an alum of Leeds University and the Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She is also a professional model. Her older half-sister is a good friend of Prince William and rumor has it, she once had a crush on him. Cressida was introduced to Harry by Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenia, who also happens to be Cressida’s best friend. The couple confirmed that they were dating last spring and have been seen everywhere together. They are spending so much timetogether, that their close friends and family members think they are ready to take their relationship to the next level.

Cresida Bonas gallery wiki

Here are 10 things that Wikipedia could mention on Cressida Bonas Wikipedia page:

1) Half-sister to Prince William’s ex-crush, actress and model, Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, who was in Simon Pegg flop movie How To Lose Friends & Alienate People.

2) Educated at £30,000-a-year Stowe School in Buckingham, before going to Leeds University to study dance.

3) Cressida played Desdemona in Othello while at university, the show was later taken to the Edinburgh Festival.

4) Cressida spent her 24th birthday with Prince Harry at a ski resort in Verbier, Switzerland.

5) She appeared at 27 on The Tatler List – a list of ‘all the people who matter’ according to the upmarket mag.

6) Cressida’s mother is Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, a Sixties It girl with five kids by three of her four husbands (all of whom she divorced).

7) Believed to have been fixed up with Prince Harry by Princess Eugenie.

8) Friends with Arthur Landon – named by the Sunday Times as fourth on the UK’s Young Rich List with an estimated £200m inherited fortune.

9) Used to date Harry Wentworth-Stanley, 23, whose stepfather, the Marquess of Milford Haven (George Milford Haven), is a cousin of the Queen.

10) Cressida Bonas was first linked to Prince Harry last summer after they were seen together after the premiere of the Dark Knight Rises.


Meet Cressida Bonas family, wiki bio style


Cressida Bonas wiki entry (24)
Talk of a forthcoming royal wedding is lunacy, even though things are looking more serious between Prince Harry and his blonde. Known as Cressy to her mates, she has that naughty glint in her eye often found among Stowe girls and is a terror on the dancefloor and at festivals in the summer. She studied dance at Leeds, and is currently at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Some friends are surprised by the very public displays of affection with her new boyfriend (the last one was Harry Wentworth-Stanley). ‘She’s pretty low-key, so she won’t like being in the limelight,’ says one. ‘But that’s why Harry likes her.’

Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe wiki entry (33)
Once the object of Prince William’s unrequited affection, Cressy’s half-sister is now happily married to Sam Branson. A former Heathfield girl, she has starred in a smattering of films, including How to Lose Friends & Alienate People and Stage Beauty. Famed for her dewy skin. Also has a belly ring.

Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe wiki entry (29)
Jacobi is the only male among Cressy’s siblings. Thrillingly single, the former Harrovian shares more than a few similarities with Harry. They’re both partial to blondes, play polo and are most likely to be found partying at Bodo’s Schloss.

Gabriella Wilde wiki entry (24)
Cressy’s BFF is the half-sister of her half-siblings Georgiana, Isabella and Jacobi. Gabriella grew up in Hampshire and went to Heathfield, where she was suspended for smuggling in vodka. Since then, she’s modelled for Burberry and is set to appear with Julianne Moore in a remake of Carrie. Engaged to Alan Pownall.

Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon (66) and Jeffrey Bonas wiki entry
Cressy’s mum (the daughter of the late Earl Howe) and her father, Jeffrey Bonas, were married for six years, but famously naughty Mary-Gaye has had three other husbands and four other children. She won’t go to Ascot without her mobile kitchen. Old Harrovian and twice-married businessman Jeffrey is chairman of old-fashioned haberdashers MacCulloch & Wallis but spends his days researching local history at home in Norfolk. And playing golf.

Georgiana Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe wiki entry (34)
Artist Giana sculpts and sketches in her Ladbroke Grove studio before skipping home to Notting Hill, where she lives with her husband, hedgefunder Robert Butler. They were married at the family stately – Elvetham Hall, in Hampshire – with a bluebell-strewn aisle framed by guests perched on hay bales.

Pandora Cooper-Key wiki entry (40)
Cressy’s delightfully eccentric oldest half-sibling is the product of Mary-Gaye’s first marriage, to Esmond Cooper-Key. An accessories designer for Vivienne Westwood, she lives in Kensington with tousle-haired TV producer husband Matthew Mervyn-Jones and their two small children.

Richard Dinan wiki entry (26)
Instantly recognisable as the floppy-haired blond in Made in Chelsea, Mary-Gaye’s nephew and Cressy’s cousin actually lives in Parsons Green. He’s launched two businesses with Lord Brocket’s son Alex Nall-Cain. Very protective of his young cousin – but he says Prince Harry is a ‘f***ing good man’.


The UK’s The Telegraph has recently reported that Cressida Bonas is likely to marry The World’s Most Eligible Bachelor, also known as Prince Harry. The beautiful, blonde socialite has been dating the prince since shortly after Princess Eugenie introduced the pair. However, reports have claimed that Cressida was reluctant to marry at her age.

Known for her free-spirit and fun-loving nature, a friend of Cressida shared details about Cressida and Harry’s relationship with The Telegraph.

“Cressida has been in floods of tears. Harry is coming on very strong, but she is all over the place. She thinks she is far too young to get married and is scared by all his talk of marriage and settling down,” the friend said.

 “I’ve longed for kids since I was very, very young, so I’m just waiting to find the right person, someone who’s willing to take on the job,” Prince Harry said.


“Harry never stops talking about marriage and children, and she has now got used to the idea. The wedding is likely to take place next year,” the friend said.

Details about the potential upcoming nuptials are being kept quiet including the name of the friend who spoke with The Telegraph. However, the source who spoke with the magazine claims that “Cressie is going to marry Harry” and since Prince Harry turns thirty next year, 2014 will likely be the year.


How to create a Wikipedia entry page about Cressida Bonas


Wikipedia already has a lot of articles. Before creating an article, you should search to check that there is no suitable article that already exists. If an article on the topic you want to create is there, but you think people are likely to look for it under some different name or spelling, learn how to add a redirect with that name; adding needed redirects is a good way to help Wikipedia too.

Consider adding your information to existing articles that might include information about the subject of the article you propose. For example, if you want to write an article about a band member, you might search for the band and then add information to that broader article about that band member. This is the best thing to do if the subject of the proposed article has only limited depth.

If no suitable articles already exist or the subject has enough depth for an article of its own then you should consider starting a new article. First, to avoid the possible disappointment of your article being rapidly deleted, make sure that it meets Wikipedia’s requirements for inclusion. In brief, this means that the subject must have been mentioned in some detail by at least one (and preferably several) independent academically respectable sources. For more details see the section on this page Things to avoid and the articles on notability and reliable sources. There are three ways to create an article:

  1. Create the article using the ‪Wikipedia:Article wizard‬. Your article will need to be reviewed before it goes ‘live’.
  2. In the search box near the top right of a page, type the title of the new article, then click Go. If the Search page reports “There were no results matching the query. You may create the page….” followed by the article name in red, then you can click the red article name to start editing it. When you are done, press “Show preview” to take a look at how the page will appear. Try to fix any formatting errors, then press “Save page”. Your article is now part of Wikipedia and may be edited by anyone.
  3. Create the article by creating a Subpage in your own personal user space (which assumes you have a Wikipedia account). Typically, the name that you give to the Subpage will be the same as that of your intended article. When you have finished creating it (typically after a lot of repeated editing and saving), move the article from your Subpage to the Wikipedia mainspace (where the real articles are).

Tips for creating a wiki page about Cressida Bonas


  1. Try editing existing articles to get a feel for writing and for using the mark-up language in use at Wikipedia. Also, try reading some of our better articles, either those listed as featured articles or good articles.
  2. Consider creating the article on your user page first. If you have a user id, (which you must have if you are considering creating a new article), you also have your own area to start working on a new article; you can get it in shape there, take your time, and only move it into the “live” Wikipedia once it is ready for prime time. (Note: the Article Wizard has an option to create these kind of draft pages.)
  3. Search Wikipedia first to make sure that an article does not already exist on the subject, perhaps under a different title. If you find an existing article on your subject, it is best to redirect the name you were thinking of onto the existing article.
  4. Gather references both to use as source(s) of your information and also to demonstrate notability of your article’s subject matter. References to blogs, personal websites MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, message boards, and the like don’t count—we need reliable sources. Extra care should be taken to make sure that articles on living persons have sources—articles about living people without sources may be deleted.
  5. Please do not create pages about yourself or your friends, pages that advertise, personal essays or other articles you would not find in an encyclopedia.
  6. Be careful about the following: copying things, controversial material, extremely short articles, and local-interest articles.

A new research suggests that Wikipedia articles about former US President George W. Bush and anarchism are the most hotly contested on its English-language edition.

Scientists analyzed page edits in 10 editions to find topics fought over by contributors to the open encyclopaedia.

While some topics were locally controversial, many religious subjects, such as Jesus and God, were universally debated, they found.

Further research is planned to log how controversial topics change over time.

Researchers from the University of Oxford and three other institutions analyzed logs of the changes made to Wikipedia pages to identify those in the throes of an “edit war”. Such a conflict involves editors of pages making changes that are almost instantly undone by another editor.

Finding the pages over which editors scrap about such changes was a better guide to controversial subjects than simply picking out those that changed a lot, wrote the researchers in a paper describing their work.

Pages that get updated a lot might just be about a rapidly changing field or topic, they said. By contrast, a topic page in which words and phrases are constantly removed and re-instated gave an insight into the depth of feeling it evoked among contributors.

Millions of articles from 10 separate language editions of Wikipedia were subjected to analysis to find the topics over which editors scrapped most fiercely. English, Spanish, Persian, Arabic and Czech editions were among those analyzed. Data was taken from editions of Wikipedia published on the web in 2010.

Wikipedia articles about former US President George W. Bush and anarchism are the most hotly contested on its English-language edition

Wikipedia articles about former US President George W. Bush and anarchism are the most hotly contested on its English-language edition

The most controversial topics across all the 10 editions analyzed were:

  • Israel
  • Adolf Hitler
  • The Holocaust
  • God

In addition other religious subjects, such as Jesus, The Prophet Muhammad and Christianity were regularly fought over by editors.

The analysis also revealed many local controversies.

Among French editors, the page about French politician Segolene Royal was the one contributors fought over the most.

By contrast, in Romania information about the Universit­atea Craiova football team proved most controversial.

Further work planned by the team will look at a more recent data set from Wikipedia and map edit wars over time to see the ebb and flow of controversial subjects.

Top 10 touchy topics:

  • George W. Bush
  • Anarchism
  • The Prophet Muhammad
  • World Wrestling Entertainment employees
  • Global warming
  • Circumcision
  • The United States
  • Jesus
  • Race and intelligence
  • Christianity

“Bicholim Conflict” was voted a “good article” – a Wikipedia badge of honor – and sat happily on the online encyclopedia for more than half a decade.

But editors have lately discovered a small issue with the site’s meticulously written 4,500 word article detailing the 17th century Bicholim Conflict.

It was entirely made up.

After five years of featuring the piece, which tells the story of “how colonial Portugal clashed with India’s massive Maratha Empire”, Wikipedia has admitted the entire conflict and books cited as sources for the piece are fictional, the Daily Dot reports.

The only source seems to be an unidentified and mischievous Wikipedia user dedicated to putting extraordinary amounts of effort into promoting his or her own fantasy historical conflict and getting one over on Wikipedia in the process.

“From 1640 to 1641 the might of colonial Portugal clashed with India’s massive Maratha Empire in an undeclared war that would later be known as the Bicholim Conflict,” the article read.

“Named after the northern Indian region where most of the fighting took place, the conflict ended with a peace treaty that would later help cement Goa as an independent Indian state.”

It continues, in precise detail, to explore what happened in the fictional war and lists some 17 references, as well as three suggestions for further reading – which all appear to be a work of the writer’s imagination.

After five years of featuring the Bicholim Conflict, Wikipedia has admitted the entire conflict and books cited as sources for the piece are fictional

After five years of featuring the Bicholim Conflict, Wikipedia has admitted the entire conflict and books cited as sources for the piece are fictional

The article’s conclusion may have given some hint of its veracity: “The conflict was fairly brief and its impact in terms of casualties and damage was minimal. For this reason, it has not become much of a talking point amongst filmmakers and bookwriters.”

The hoax was only uncovered when another user from Missouri, known as ShelfSkewed, finally realized the deception and nominated the article for removal.

“After careful consideration and some research, I have come to the conclusion that this article is a hoax – a clever and elaborate hoax, but a hoax nonetheless,” they wrote.

“An online search for <<Bicholim conflict>> or for many of the article’s purported sources produces only results that can be traced back to the article itself.”

Wikipedia acted on his warning and promptly removed the piece.

But not before it was labeled a “Good Article” by Wikipedia editors just two months after its creation in July 2007.

It was also nominated for a featured article – Wikipedia’s gold star for research.

And even though site admin didn’t approve the recommendation they didn’t stumble across the fact the entire piece was a wind-up

“Unfortunately, hoaxes on Wikipedia are nothing new, and the craftier they are, the more difficult it is to catch them,” William Beutler, president of Beutler Wiki Relations, a Wikipedia consulting firm, told Yahoo News.

“Anyone who’s clever enough to make up convincing sources and motivated enough to spend the time and skilled enough to write a plausible article can deceive whole Internet – at least for awhile.”

Indeed, several hoaxes have taken place on the crowd-sourced encyclopedia site, so much so that the encyclopedia has its own page detailing them.

At least one place where the Bicholim Conflict lives on.

A study of 2012’s most read Wikipedia articles reveals striking differences in what proved popular across the different language versions of the online encyclopaedia.

“Facebook” topped the English edition while an entry for adult video actresses did best in Japan.

Hua Shan – a Chinese mountain featuring “the world’s deadliest hiking trail” – topped the Dutch list.

By contrast, cul-de-sacs were the German site’s most clicked entry.

The data was published by a Swedish software engineer Johan Gunnarsson as part of the Wikitrends project. His home land’s most viewed article was a page dedicated to Sweden itself.

Lower entries on the lists also proved revealing.

While articles about Iran, its capital city Tehran and the country’s New Year celebrations topped the Persian list, entries about sex, female circumcision and homosexuality also made its top 10.

An overview of Egypt topped the Arabic language version and was followed by a history of Muhammad Ali Pasha – the Ottoman army commander who became the country’s ruler in 1805. He is viewed by many as the founder of the “modern” nation.

Sport featured prominently in the Indonesian edition with football, volleyball and basketball all coming within the top seven articles.

Italy appeared more obsessed with US television. Grey’s Anatomy came out on top, and Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries followed shortly after.

The Russian version was led by an article about the country followed by one about YouTube. But entries for “p**n site” and “unemployment” may provide greater insight into local users’ lives.

Unusual results included the “@” symbol making it into second place in the Spanish language edition, a type of Japanese holly topping the French list, and The European Regional Development Fund coming in third in Poland.

A study of 2012's most read Wikipedia articles reveals striking differences in what proved popular across the different language versions of the online encyclopaedia

A study of 2012’s most read Wikipedia articles reveals striking differences in what proved popular across the different language versions of the online encyclopaedia

Canadian pop star Justin Bieber managed to make both the Danish and Norwegian top 10s, but was trumped by British boy band One Direction who appeared in the English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish and Danish lists.

Elsewhere, Facebook’s photo sharing service Instagram – which did not make any of Wikipedia’s top 10s – has published its own round-up of 2012.

The firm has focused on locations rather than themes.

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport came out on top with more than 100,000 photos taken there, followed by the city’s Siam Paragon shopping mall.

Thailand only recently held an auction to award 3G mobile network licences, and has instead focused on providing free wi-fi connectivity. It already has more than 200,000 hotspots and the government has announced a target of covering 80% of the country by May.

The Next Web tech blog suggests local habits had also aided Instagram’s local popularity.

“Many mobile internet users in the region didn’t spend much-time (or any time at all) using PCs, so their mobile or tablet is their single portal to the web and always-on web access is something new to them,” wrote Jon Russell.

The US took the next seven of the top 10 spots thanks to snaps taken at California’s Disneyland, New York’s Times Square; San Francisco’s AT&T Park; and Los Angeles’ International Airport, Dodger stadium, Staples Center and Santa Monica Pier.

Paris’s Eiffel Tower was the only European location to make the list.

Wikipedia English language most viewed

1. Facebook

2. Wiki

3. Deaths in 2012

4. One Direction

5. The Avengers

6. Fifty Shades of Grey

7. 2012 phenomenon

8. The Dark Knight Rises

9. Google

10. The Hunger Games


An anonymous Wikipedia editor may have tried to reveal General David Petraeus’s extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell back in January this year.

In January, Paula Broadwell appeared on the Daily Show to pitch her book about the CIA director titled All In.

The day after Wikipedia editor Vanobamo created a page for the author, which is common practice on the user-contributed online encyclopedia.

But less than an hour later an anonymous editor logged on to the website and wrote: “Petraeus is reportedly one of her many conquests.”

It was the anonymous user’s first and only Wikipedia edit, reports Gawker.

Their post, with the IP address, was deleted within an hour by editor Dsutton, who flagged it as “libel/vandalism”.

At the time news of their affair had not surfaced and Wikipedia reserves the right to delete libelous material posted on the website.

An anonymous Wikipedia editor may have tried to reveal David Petraeus's affair with Paula Broadwell back in January this year

An anonymous Wikipedia editor may have tried to reveal David Petraeus’s affair with Paula Broadwell back in January this year

But now in hindsight, is unknown if Paula Broadwell’s Wikipedia outing was speculation by a Daily Show viewer, or if the poster had secret knowledge of David Petraeus cheating on Holly his wife of 37 years.

Since news of the posting was released, several attempts have been made to track the IP address and determine the poster.

An IP address is an address assigned to every computer and other devices are logged onto the Internet to uniquely define them.

When Gawker ran it through the American Registry for Internet Numbers, they failed to come up with a name, but the result showed a company called Cisco Systems, Inc.

They explained that this means “Cisco, the tech giant based in San Jose, was given that IP address, but anyone could have been using it, and it could have been ported to another location around the world”.

Before last Friday Paula Broadwell’s Wikipedia page was quite bare, but then former CIA director David Petraeus resigned.

[youtube XIw5MN2uZbw]

Richard O'Dwyer Extradition Support

Many people especially in the UK will have heard and read about 24yr old Sheffield Hallam University student Richard O’Dwyer’s fight against extradition to the USA on a charge of copyright infringement over a linking site he made (TVShack.net) even though he has not been to America since he was 5 years old!

His mum Julia describes this as “The Fight of Our Lives” Richard if convicted in a US court could find himself in a Federal  prison for up to 10 years and subject to a $250,000 fine. Though Richard and Julia are fighting against this disproportionate extradition and with no help from the British government who have rubber stamped Richard’s extradition, in reality hardly any British citizens have successfully fought extradition to the USA. You can find out more about Richard’s situation by following Julia on twitter @jrodwyer and have a look on her blog http://juliasblog-the-fight-of-our-lives.blogspot.co.uk/

Everything is stacked against Richard even though he has yet to have his appeal. Julia needs to plan for the worst in case Richard is extradited to the USA. Fighting extradition has been costly so far even though Richard’s legal costs have been funded by legal aid in the UK.

[youtube iqptx4j1wuo]

Sheffield student Richard O’Dwyer, 24, faces extradition to the US and up to 10 years in prison for alleged copyright offences after setting up a website with links to TV shows called TVShack.com. Here, he discusses why he set up the site; his arrest and detention; and the battle his family faces to keep him in the UK

TV Shack Admin Richard O’Dwyer “Almost Certain” To Be Extradited To US


The recent decision not to extradite hacker Gary McKinnon to the United States was considered by some as a sign of hope for the predicament of former TVShack admin Richard O’Dwyer. But while there is still a High Court appeal around the corner, things still don’t look good. Speaking with TorrentFreak, Richard’s mother says her son’s extradition is now “almost certain” which is forcing her to plan for a worst case scenario in which he is sent across the Atlantic with little notice. Can you help?

In 2011, Richard O’Dwyer was arrested by police for operating TVShack, a website that listed user-submitted links to TV-shows hosted on other websites.

Earlier this year UK Home Secretary Theresa May officially approved an extradition request from US authorities and ever since Richard and his mother Julia have battled against it. Their campaign has received high-profile support from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who characterized the case as a clash between civil liberties and the interests of the copyright industries.

Right now Richard is awaiting his appeal to the High Court against the decision of a judge in a lower court to allow his extradition to go ahead. That appeal is scheduled for December 4 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Speaking with TorrentFreak, Julia O’Dwyer says the appeal will take place on a number of issues but mainly against the lower court judge’s decision.

“In order to proceed with an extradition the alleged conduct must be a crime punishable with more than 12 months in prison in both countries. Despite the Judge saying at the Oct/Nov hearings last year that we had a good strong legal argument supporting this (an opinion which was agreed by the prosecution Barrister), when considering his decision he strangely changed his mind and decided the other way,” Julia explains.

Since it was very similar in function, on many occasions Richard’s site TVShack has been compared to the now-defunct site TV-Links. The admins of TV-Links were also subjected to legal action but were cleared after a judge ruled that Section 17 of the European Commerce Directive 2000 afforded TV-Links a defense when it linked to other web sites. This ruling will form part of Richard’s appeal.

“We will be strengthening these arguments at appeal and as you might expect have sought expert IP opinion on the matter,” Julie adds.

Last week, UK Home Secretary Theresa May decided that alleged hacker Gary McKinnon would not be extradited to the US. She also announced that the government will make some changes to the existing extradition treaty, including the so-called Forum Amendment, which many viewed as good news for Richard’s case, but that’s not necessarily the case.

“This means that where an accused has committed all or a significant amount of the alleged conduct in the UK, then the courts will be able to decide whether they should be tried in the UK,” Julia explains.

“This is a major breakthrough and is what the campaigners for extradition reform have been fighting for for years. This would apply in Richard’s case but as the law has not yet been changed and I don’t know when it will, this is not likely to benefit Richard.”

While Julia notes that the UK government does technically have the power to apply the changes to Richard’s case, the McKinnon decision may mean that they choose not to.

“[The UK government] has just upset the US by keeping Gary Mckinnon here and they are already trying to sabotage any law changes planned by sending over a US Judge to give a lecture to the UK Parliament later this month,” she reveals.

Furthermore, while not a single US citizen has ever been extradited to the UK for a crime committed from the US, aside from the McKinnon decision Julia says that nearly all extraditions to the US of UK citizens (including those who have never set foot on US soil) have eventually gone ahead.

Faced with this bleak outlook, Julia informs TorrentFreak that she is “almost certain” that Richard will be extradited to the US. To this end she is now being forced to prepare for this worst-case scenario.

Fortunately, several people have already offered to finance or work for free on Richard’s case in the US but there are additional costs still to be met.

“There still remains the worry of financial costs in the US. There will be personal financial costs associated with travel to the US, accommodation and the cost of securing an address for Richard to live at in order to be allowed bail. These costs will have to be covered by me somehow,” Julia explains.

“What concerns me are the unknown additional costs which we could be faced with such as a large bail bond or an even more costly financial penalty running into hundreds of thousands of dollars if Richard were to be found guilty,” she adds.

To prepare for this eventuality, a supporter has set up a fighting fund for Richard on GoFundMe with an initial target of £25,000.

“This is a large amount to be raised and I know times are hard for many of us so with that in mind please donate only if you can afford to do so. Your online and public support has been invaluable and has helped get us through this dreadful situation,” Julia concludes.

The petition set up by Jimmy Wales attracted hundreds of thousands of signatures – the hope is that just a few percent of those people will donate one or two pounds, euros, or dollars each.



American novelist Philip Roth has criticized Wikipedia after he was unable to convince the site to change an entry about one of his novels.

Philip Milton Roth, 79, tried to tell Wikipedia about an error in the entry for his novel The Human Stain, published in 2000.

But Wikipedia’s administrators initially refused to amend the entry, saying they required a second source.

The prize-winning author is famed for his tales of Jewish life, relationships and mortality.

The Human Stain tells the tale of Coleman Silk, a classics tutor at a fictional Massachusetts college, whose life spirals into chaos after he makes an ill-received remark judged by some as a racial slur.

American novelist Philip Roth has criticized Wikipedia after he was unable to convince the site to change an entry about one of his novels

American novelist Philip Roth has criticized Wikipedia after he was unable to convince the site to change an entry about one of his novels

According to the Wikipedia entry – which has now been amended – Coleman Silk, who Philip Roth portrayed as born to black parents but who lived his life as a white man, was based on the character of writer and critic Anatole Broyard.

Anatole Broyard, a star book reviewer for the New York Times for many years, was also born to a black family but lived as white.

However, in a lengthy open letter published on the website of the New Yorker magazine, Philip Roth insists that the idea his character was based on Anatole Broyard was utterly incorrect.

“This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip – there is no truth in it at all,” Philip Roth wrote.

In the 2,655-word letter, Philip Roth explains instead that the character of Coleman Silk was instead based on the experience of a friend of his, whose own ill-chosen remark, made while teaching at Princeton in 1985, was also seen as a racial epithet.

In the letter, Philip Roth describes this as “the initiating incident” of The Human Stain: “There is no novel without it. There is no Coleman Silk without it.”

By contrast, Philip Roth says of Anatole Broyard: “He and I barely knew each other. Over more than three decades, I ran into him, casually and inadvertently, maybe three or four times before a protracted battle with prostate cancer ended his life, in 1990.”

Describing his efforts to get the entry changed, he writes in the New Yorker that he was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator” that he “was not a credible source”.

Following the publication of the New Yorker letter, the Wikipedia entry was changed and a section noting the debate inserted near its end.

Wikipedia entries and edits are policed by administrators, who have the power to delete pages, or protect those being vandalized. Recent reports suggest the number of people being approved to run the site is on the decline.

Wikipedia by numbers

English Wikipedia:

• 4,005,000 articles

• If printed and bound, it would contain more than 1,700 volumes

• 32,760 contributors making more than five edits per month, about 10-15% of whom are women

• More than 700 active bots

All Wikipedias:

• 22.8 million articles in all languages

• 285 language editions

• Smallest edition is Kashmiri, with 131 articles

Source: Wikipedia


The Wikipedia pages dedicated to US presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other members of the Republican Party who may run alongside him have been locked down.

Wikipedia has put a silver padlock icon on the top right hand side of their entries.

This means that anonymous users cannot make editorial changes to content relating to the politicians.

The measures were taken after comedian Stephen Colbert suggested on US TV that viewers should edit the pages.

Wikipedia locked Mitt Romney entries after comedian Stephen Colbert suggested on US TV that viewers should edit the pages

Wikipedia locked Mitt Romney entries after comedian Stephen Colbert suggested on US TV that viewers should edit the pages

Stephen Colbert was following up on earlier media reports suggesting that the popularity of election candidates could be determined by the number of edits their entries on Wikipedia had received, said volunteer media coordinator David Gerard.

As a result, more people started to tinker with the politicians’ pages.

They now have a partial lock, meaning that anonymous users and those without a Wikipedia account are currently unable to make changes to the pages of Mitt Romney, Senators Rob Portman and Marco Rubio, Governor Chris Christie and others.

“It’s supposed to be an encyclopedia so a bit of amusement is fine but too much gets messy really,” said David Gerard.

“We try to keep stuff as open as possible, so once it calms down they’ll probably be open again.”

It is particularly important that entries about living people are editorially sound, David Gerard said.

Not many pages are completely locked down.

A Wikipedia page about the Virginia Tech massacre, in which 32 people were killed at an American college, is fully protected for sensitivity reasons, and an article about episodes of Disney children’s programme Hannah Montana was completely restricted in 2011 following “persistent vandalism” said David Gerard.

“A lot of people don’t understand what to do if there’s something terrible in their article,” he said.

“If you email us with a concern I promise a volunteer will take the problems seriously.”


Wikipedia was knocked offline on Monday due to two accidentally cut cables near a data centre in Florida.

The online encyclopedia and various associated services were inaccessible or extremely sluggish for over two hours on Monday.

A status web page showed various parts of the Wikimedia network as suffering performance issues.

Wikipedia ruled out any suggestion of malicious intent being behind problem.

Wikipedia was knocked offline on Monday due to two accidentally cut cables near a data centre in Florida

Wikipedia was knocked offline on Monday due to two accidentally cut cables near a data centre in Florida

The two cables, which stretched between Tampa and Virginia, were broken for an hour and six minutes, the site said.

After the cables were repaired, it took another hour for basic service on Wikipedia to be restored.

Its mobile site appeared to unaffected, although the service’s API – application programming interface – continued to suffer problems even when the main site had been restored.

In an error message posted to the site, the Wikimedia Foundation reiterated its reliance on donations to fund its continued operation.

“The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization which hosts some of the most popular sites on the internet,” the message read.

“It has a constant need to purchase new hardware. If you would like to help, please donate.”

Despite its limited funding, the site is considered to have impressive reliability. Its last significant down time was deliberate – the site went “offline” for 24 hours in protest at proposed anti-piracy bills in the US.


A new research has found that up to six in ten articles on Wikipedia contain inaccuracies.

The number of factual errors shows just how unreliable it can be to use the online resource as a sole means of digging up information.

Yet millions base everything from school homework to corporate presentations using facts and figures they have gleaned from the site.

A study into, specifically, company information on the massively popular website discovered 60% of articles had factual errors.

Wikipedia pages are edited by the public and this leads to both human error in factual information as well as, occasionally, those who want to sabotage entries.

But Wikipedia’s administrators themselves add to the problem by being too slow to react to those who complain about the errors, it said.

The research was conducted by the scholarly Public Relations Journal who quizzed 1,284 members about their clients’ Wikipedia entries.

One in four of those questioned had not previously checked what Wikipedia said about their clients, lead researcher Professor Marcia DiStaso of Penn State University, said.

The research was conducted by the scholarly Public Relations Journal who quizzed 1,284 members about their clients' Wikipedia entries

The research was conducted by the scholarly Public Relations Journal who quizzed 1,284 members about their clients' Wikipedia entries

Once a mistake had been spotted, getting it sorted posed further difficulties – one in four complaints to Wikipedia never received any type of response.

Others said it took “weeks” to get an answer although Wikipedia itself claims all requests for corrections are dealt with between two and five days.

Prof. Marcia DiStaso said: “It does not surprise me that so many Wikipedia entries contain factual errors.

“What is surprising, however, is that 25% of survey respondents indicated they are not familiar with the Wikipedia articles for their company or clients.

“At some point most, if not all, companies will determine they need to change something in their Wikipedia entries.”

Although Wikipedia is not an official record of fact for a company, it could be vital to get it right for those who use it to gather information about a corporation.

Prof. Marcia DiStaso added: “The status quo can’t continue. A high amount of factual errors doesn’t work for anyone, especially the public, which relies on Wikipedia for accurate, balanced information.”


Reference book firm Encyclopaedia Britannica has decided to stop publishing its famous and weighty 32-volume print edition after 244 years of tradition.

Encyclopaedia Britannica will now focus on digital expansion amid rising competition from websites such as Wikipedia.

The company, which used to sell its encyclopedias door-to-door, now generates almost 85% its revenue from online sales.

It recently launched a digital version of its encyclopedias for tablet PCs.

“The sales of printed encyclopedias have been negligible for several years,” said Jorge Cauz president of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

“We knew this was going to come.”

Encyclopaedia Britannica has decided to stop publishing its famous and weighty 32-volume print edition after 244 years of tradition

Encyclopaedia Britannica has decided to stop publishing its famous and weighty 32-volume print edition after 244 years of tradition

Companies across the globe have been trying to boost their online presence in a bid to cash in on the fast-growing market.

Various newspapers, magazines and even book publishers have been coming up with online versions of their products as an increasing number of readers access information on high-tech gadgets such as tablet PCs and smartphones.

Britannica said while its decision to focus on online editions was influenced by the shift in consumer pattern, the ability to update content at a short notice also played a big role.

“A printed encyclopedia is obsolete the minute that you print it,” Jorge Cauz said.

“Whereas our online edition is updated continuously.”

At the same time, frequent users of the encyclopedia said they preferred using the online version more than the print one.

“We have to answer thousands of questions each month through chat, through telephone, through email and we have to do that as quickly as humanly possible,” said Richard Reyes-Gavilan of Brooklyn Public Library.

“In many instances doing a keyword search in an online resource is simply a lot faster then standing up looking at the index of the Britannica and then finding the appropriate volume.”

Encyclopaedia Britannica, the company, has largely moved away from its encyclopedia work focusing most of its energies in recent years on educational software.


Wikipedia announced that will black out its website on Wednesday to protest against anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced on Twitter that the popular community-based online encyclopedia would shut down its English versions for a full 24 hours.

A link to the formal announcement confirmed the decision after 1,800 Wikipedians discussed what action to take against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECTIP (PIPA).

SOPA and the Protect Intellectual Property Act pending in Congress are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas.

Supporters say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs. Critics say the legislation is too broad and could hurt the technology industry and infringe on free-speech rights.

Jimmy Wales said in a statement: “Today Wikipedians from around the world have spoken about their opposition to this destructive legislation.

“This is an extraordinary action for our community to take – and while we regret having to prevent the world from having access to Wikipedia for even a second, we simply cannot ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world.”

According to a press release, Wikipedia users have discussed for more than a month whether it should react to the legislation and, in the past few days, tried to decide how.

The foundation behind the site, Wikimedia, said it collected input from users over a period of 72 hours before making its final decision on Monday evening based on that feedback.

“This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation,” a statement on the Wikimedia Foundation website reads.

“The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a <<blackout>> of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.”

Wikipedia announced that will black out its website on Wednesday to protest against anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress

Wikipedia announced that will black out its website on Wednesday to protest against anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress

A large-scale blackout is expected from midnight Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday until midnight on Wednesday.

“We are looking at a powerful protest,” said Jay Walsh, spokesman for the foundation.

Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others have also questioned the legislation and said it poses a serious risk to the industry. Several online communities such as Reddit, Boing Boing and others have announced plans to go blackout in protest.

Wikipedia is considering several different forms of response, from a banner across the top of the page to a blackout in certain areas, up to a worldwide shutdown, said Jay Walsh.

If Wikipedia opts for a blackout, it would be the largest and most well-known website to do so.

“It’s not a muscle that is normally flexed,” added Jay Walsh.

As the Washington Post reports, Jimmy Wales expects an estimated 25million daily visitors to be affected by a Wikipedia blackout.

The Obama administration has also raised concerns about the legislation and said over the weekend that it will work with Congress on legislation to help battle piracy and counterfeiting while defending free expression, privacy, security and innovation in the Internet.


The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act in Congress – are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas – has pit internet giants, consumer groups and freedom of speech advocates against film studios and record labels.

The House bill (SOPA) would allow a private party to go straight to a website’s advertising and payment providers and request they sever ties.

Supporters include the film and music industry, which often sees its products sold illegally. They say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs.

Critics say the legislation could hurt the technology industry and infringe on free-speech rights. Among their concerns are provisions that would weaken cyber-security for companies and hinder domain access rights.

The most controversial provision is in the House bill, which would have enabled federal authorities to “blacklist” sites that are alleged to distribute pirated content. That would essentially cut off portions of the Internet to all U.S. users. But congressional leaders appear to be backing off this provision.