Image Map

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

CIA Plays Wiki

Not sure if I believe this, but I want to believe it so bad. So I believe it.

From The BBC

Wikipedia 'shows CIA page edits'
By Jonathan Fildes
Science and technology reporter, BBC News

An online tool that claims to reveal the identity of organisations that edit Wikipedia pages has revealed that the CIA was involved in editing entries.

Wikipedia Scanner allegedly shows that workers on the agency's computers made edits to the page of Iran's president.

It also purportedly shows that the Vatican has edited entries about Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

The tool, developed by US researchers, trawls a list of 5.3m edits and matches them to the net address of the editor.

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopaedia that can be created and edited by anyone.

Most of the edits detected by the scanner correct spelling mistakes or factual inaccuracies in profiles. However, others have been used to remove potentially damaging material or to deface sites.

Mistaken identity

On the profile of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the tool indicates that a worker on the CIA network reportedly added the exclamation "Wahhhhhh!" before a section on the leader's plans for his presidency.

A warning on the profile of the anonymous editor reads: "You have recently vandalised a Wikipedia article, and you are now being asked to stop this type of behaviour."

Other changes that have been made are more innocuous, and include tweaks to the profile of former CIA chief Porter Goss and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey.

When asked whether it could confirm whether the changes had been made by a person using a CIA computer, an agency spokesperson responded: "I cannot confirm that the traffic you cite came from agency computers.

"I'd like in any case to underscore a far larger and more significant point that no one should doubt or forget: The CIA has a vital mission in protecting the United States, and the focus of this agency is there, on that decisive work."

Radio change

The site also indicates that a computer owned by the US Democratic Party was used to make changes to the site of right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

The changes brand Mr Limbaugh as "idiotic," a "racist", and a "bigot". An entry about his audience now reads: "Most of them are legally retarded."

The IP address is registered in the name of the Democratic National Headquarters.

A spokesperson for the Democratic Party said that the changes had not been made on its computers. Instead, they said that the "IP address is the same as the DCCC".

The DCCC, or Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is the "official campaign arm of the Democrats" in the House of Representatives and shares a building with the party.

"We don't condone these sorts of activities and we take every precaution to ensure that our network is used in a responsible manner," Doug Thornell of the DCCC told the BBC News website.

Mr Thornell pointed out that the edit had been made "close to two years ago" and it was "impossible to know" who had done it.

Voting issue

The site also indicates that Vatican computers were used to remove content from a page about the leader of the Irish republican party Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams.

The edit removed links to newspaper stories written in 2006 that alleged that Mr Adams' fingerprints and handprints were found on a car used during a double murder in 1971.

The section, titled "Fresh murder question raised" is no longer part of the main online encyclopaedia entries.

Wikipedia Scanner also points the finger at commercial organisations that have modified entries about the pages.

One in particular is Diebold, a company which supplies electronic voting machines in the US.

In October 2005, a person using a Diebold computer removed paragraphs about Walden O'Dell, chief executive of the company, which revealed that he had been "a top fund-raiser" for George Bush.

A month later, other paragraphs and links to stories about the alleged rigging of the 2000 election were also removed.

The paragraphs and links have since been reinstated.

Diebold officials have not responded to requests by the BBC for information about the changes.

Web history

The Wikipedia Scanner results are not the first time that people have been uncovered editing their own Wikipedia entries.

Earlier this year, Microsoft was revealed to have offered money to trawl through entries about document standards it and other companies employ.

Staff at the US Congress have also previously been exposed for editing and removing sensitive information about politicians.

An inquiry was launched after staff for Democratic representative Marty Meehan admitted polishing his biography

The new tool was built by Virgil Griffith of the California Institute of Technology.

It exploits the open nature of Wikipedia, which already collects the net address or username of editors and tracks all changes to a page. The information can be accessed in the "history" tab at the top of a Wikipedia page.

By merging this information with a database of IP address owners, Wikipedia Scanner is able to put a name to the organisation and firms from which edits are made.

The scanner cannot identify the individuals editing articles, admits Mr Griffith.

"Technically, we don't know whether it came from an agent of that company, however, we do know that edit came from someone with access to their network," he wrote on the Wikipedia Scanner site.

A spokesperson for Wikipedia said the tool helped prevent conflicts of interest.

"We really value transparency and the scanner really takes this to another level," they said.

"Wikipedia Scanner may prevent an organisation or individuals from editing articles that they're really not supposed to."

BBC News website users contacted the corporation to point out that the tool also revealed that people inside the BBC had made edits to Wikipedia pages.


melanie said...

Is Wikipedia actually considered a reliable source to begin with? I had always been under the impression that it's as reliable as a public bathroom wall...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

[b]download acdsee pro free, [url=]software purchase by[/url]
[url=][/url] buy cheap software discount coupon wholesale adobe photoshop cs2 for mac
macromedia player software [url=]store softwares[/url] cheapest student software
[url=]sell software through[/url] foro crack nero 9
[url=]you sell software[/url] open source store software
i buy cheap software [url=]windows vista drivers[/url][/b]

Anonymous said...

[b]reasons to use quarkxpress 7, [url=]adobe creative suite 4 design premium for mac[/url]
[url=]kaspersky 7 key[/url] buy photoshop top secret linux software store
report filemaker pro [url=]adobe software australia[/url] discount software australia
[url=]Finale 2009 FileMaker Pro[/url] sale software solutions
[url=]you buy adobe photoshop[/url] buy chess software
acdsee software [url=]how to install windows vista[/url][/b]

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the site is [b][url=]brasil no[/url][/b]

Anonymous said...

Very informative,might come very useful on my essays. Thank you!

Unknown said...

Oh! That's great! Thank you for post! Awesome!And one more thing:If you will have some free time, you can find many goods for yourself here - That's just about APA format essay

Anonymous said...

Unknown said...

Amaze! I have been looking bing for hours because of this and i also in the end think it is in this article! Mayb I recommend you something helps me all the time? Here's it

Anonymous said...

Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one
and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses?
If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything
you can suggest? I get so much lately it's driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.

Visit my blog: zbd
Also see my site :: eve

Anonymous said...

It's an remarkable paragraph designed for all the internet people; they will take benefit from it I am sure.

My weblog; ava fx
my web page:

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I wish for to subscribe for this weblog to obtain
hottest updates, therefore where can i do it please help out.

my weblog: zulutrade

Anonymous said...

Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Thank you for providing these details.

my page; twitter 10000 followers

Anonymous said...

Hey just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a
few of the pictures aren't loading correctly. I'm not sure why but I think its a linking
issue. I've tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.

Also visit my homepage: binary trading options

Anonymous said...

You could definitely see your skills within the work you write.
The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention
how they believe. Always go after your heart.

Also visit my weblog :: the option trader

Anonymous said...

Hello! This post couldn't be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

Feel free to visit my blog post ... get followers
My site: get followers

ireland assignment help said...

We are offering last minute assignment help support at reasonable rate. Grab the opportunity to get assignment support from highly qualified writing experts who are graduates from top universities and having deep knowledge of their relative field. Hire end-less assignment support and get higher marks in academics. Visit here:- ireland assignment help

Harsha Mathur said...

If you are interested in watching latest tamil movies for free and you do not know where to find them, then you are at the right place! Visit here:- tamil movies download

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this blog! But if there's someone who needs Help in Assignment in Brisbane then he or she can visit MyAssignmentServices

Assignment help said...

My Assignment Help online is the hand-picked assignment help company offering most reliable Assignment Help service to students residing in Australia. Our team of writers are available 24×7 to provide professional academic writing service for assignments, essays, coursework and many more.

Nitin said...

Well, Now you need not to worry about your pending assignment writing.assignment help is one of the best assignment service provider in UK. We are here to give you best assignment help UK based service. Browse our services of assignment help London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Across UK.

James Charlie said...

Congratulations, this is a well-written post. I found this to be extremely helpful. Definitely, a large number of students pursuing their education in Canada struggle to complete their academic assignments precisely without the continuous support of their professors and mentors. This is where the online Thesis Writing Help service by the MyAssignmentHelpaAU platform comes into the picture. You will get an opportunity to work with native experts who understand the referencing style, formatting pattern, and writing techniques accepted in top-class New Zealand universities, colleges, or schools.

crazy 4 watches said...

If you need premium quality Fossil first copy watches in India, we are here to help you. We provide the best quality product with machine warranty. You can also get the Michael kors first copy watches in India for gents and the ladies at the best price. 24x7 online support to the customers. Just visit and choose according to your need and budget.

Soureessay said...

Nice Work online assignment help sweden online assignment help sweden

Assignment Help Singapore said...

Taking online writing help might not sound reliable but our team of Assignment Help in Singapore makes it a worth-taking option. New Assignment Help is one of the leading writing services that provide qualitative assignments at an affordable price and makes the life of students easy in many ways.

Assignment Help in Ireland said...

New Assignment Help offers the best online Assignment Help in Ireland to college students who wish to score top grades in their academic careers. Our team of subject-oriented and highly qualified writers promises to deliver the best quality assignment writing for A+ Grade.

Assignment Help Toronto said...

Get Unique Assignment Help Toronto. We Provide the best assignment help at an affordable price to those students who need assignment writing services in Toronto.

IIM Udaipur said...

One Year MBA in Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) offers a solid foundation in Management Fundamentals and intensive specialization in GSCM. It is a full-time residential program.