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Task force/Advocacy Agenda/Weekly Report 01

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Task Force Weekly Report: week of 2009-12-28

Task Force Name:

Report of Activities

Over the course of late November and early December, we have have discussed mandate questions 1 and 2, with abbreviated discussion of question 3.

Our group seems small relative to the task, so we have been looking to expand the team size while moving forward generally with the assignment. Philippe and Eugene are working to expand the group size.

A summary of our discussions so far:

Mandate Question #1 (what issues concern Wikipedia):

  • We've agreed that net neutrality, censorship, and copyright are core concerns.
  • We've questioned whether privacy is core to Wikipedia's future growth and advocacy potential, leaning towards "no."
  • We've agreed that digital divide is an important issue, while debating whether the phrase or concept needs to be tweaked or unpacked. E.g., team members have referenced the Kevin Kelly article that recontextualizes the divide as "have-nows vs. have-laters," and the World Congress on Information Technology 2010 website that refines/redefines the concept as "eInclusion."
  • The group is supportive of including environmentalism as a key concern, or backdrop concern. One team member cautioned that our efforts here must be informed and strategic, not tactical.

    Mandate Question #2 (what positions should we adopt):

  • Esther is fleshing out her initial proposal re: wiki-lawyering and exception doctrine, and connecting internal Wikimedia's policies with external regulations (e.g., across Europe, where every country has its own copyright laws, we might advocate for more universal/integrated copyright law).
  • Asparuh made the following recommendation re: censorship: We are 100% against censorship *of content*. We are against the *censorship of access* but there are considerable local and cultural differences of interpretation here that we should be very sensitive to before forcing Western values on the rest of the world.
  • Asparuh made the following recommendation re: net neutrality: we are against private sector or government interference with an open internet. Good to take a very strong stand here.
  • Asparuh raised the following question re: digital divide: should Wikimedia take a strong advocacy position on universal translation and integrating efforts across cultures/languages?

    Mandate Question #3 (who shares our views):

    Initial, draft thoughts:

  • In Europe the organisation European Digital Rights [partnership/alignment opportunities with Wikimedia?]
  • Copyright: Larry Lessig, Creative Commons, ...
  • Net neutrality: EFF, Omidyar Network, ...

    Mandate Question #4 (who is needed to support -- e.g., Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, individual volunteers, external partners):

  • The group has not yet begun brainstorming here, and is seeking clarity on how each of these entities is composed, what they have done in the past, and/or could do in the future.

    Planned activities for next week

    In our December 28 call, we are seeking clarity on the Wikimedia internal organization, community, partners, and other stakeholders, to fuel our discussions of mandate question #4.

    Esther tried to invite a member of the Dutch Chapter of Wikimedia to join the discussion. He is not available to participate as guest in this session, so we discussed ideas on how advocacy on issues relevant at a European level could be taken up in advance.

    Fot advocacy at a European Level some kind of infrastructure and network is needed. My suggestion for today would be to set up a track of say two years for this. Top down the WMF could recognise the need to identify issues and methods to involve in advocacy at a European level and bottom up some kind of essay contest could help to identify and describe relevant literature and expertise and create a network.

    Resources needed

    To complete our work, this task force needs the following resources or assistance:


    This week, this task force wishes to recognize for their assistance the following users:

    Other comments


    Our notes or documentation can be found at:

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