Wikipedia edits tracked back to FBI, CIA
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08/17/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:

A new tracing program called WikiScanner allows users to track the computers that are used to make edits to entries in Wikipedia.

The online encyclopedia allows users to post and edit the information contained in its pages.

Reuters reported that people using FBI and CIA computers have edited Wikipedia pages on Guantanamo prison and the Iraq war.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, told WMNF how the WikiScanner program works.

The Reuters article mentioned that someone using an FBI computer removed aerial and satellite image of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Wales said that those changes were immediately reverted to the more detailed information. The government is not able to censor Wikipedia in that way, according to Wales.

Depending on who made the changes and why would determine whether such changes are a violation of Wikipedia’s conflict-of-interest guidelines, Wales said.

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