Don’t Blink: Public Policy Snapshot for August 2022

Public Policy Snapshot: August

Welcome to the “Don’t Blink” series! Every month we share developments from around the world that shape people’s ability to participate in the free knowledge movement. In case you blinked this month, here are the most important topics that have kept the Wikimedia Foundation’s Global Advocacy team busy.

To learn more about our team and the work we do, join one of our monthly conversation hours, follow us on Twitter (@WikimediaPolicy), sign up to our Wikimedia public policy mailing list, or visit our Meta-Wiki page.

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United States

Asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take our lawsuit against mass surveillance: The Foundation petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on 26 August to review a challenge to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance of Americans’ private emails, messages, and other online communications with people overseas, also known as its “Upstream” surveillance program. We partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Knight First Amendment Institute to argue that the government cannot use sweeping claims of “state secrets” to block court oversight. The Court may consider the petition as early as October 2022.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Conversations and events in Chile: Amalia Toledo, Lead Public Policy Specialist, and Wikimedia Chile met with government officials, researchers, academics, civil society organizations, and legislators on a tour in Chile, which aimed to raise awareness and advance the Wikimedia Foundation’s global advocacy and public policy priorities. The conversations and events she attended opened a window of possibilities to advocate for open knowledge and freedom of expression.

Amalia also participated in an event, co-organized by Wikimedia Chile and Derechos Digitales, where she reflected on the challenges for access to free knowledge in Chile and the region.

Additional Developments

Wikimania 2022: The Global Advocacy team hosted a workshop session focused on human rights challenges and solutions at Wikimania on 14 August. The participants crowdsourced ideas on how the movement can better mitigate and address specific human rights challenges facing Wikimedia projects and platforms, including issues like harmful content, harassment, government surveillance and censorship, and challenges to knowledge equity.

Announcements from our Team

  • ICYMI—Help us combat disinformation: Costanza Sciubba Caniglia, Anti-Disinformation Strategy Lead, launched a public mapping project to counter disinformation on 9 August. The Foundation needs your help to compile all the initiatives and tools that have been developed at the local level across Wikipedia projects, so that we can share them with the entire movement and support each other better. If you are aware of any initiative, tool, training, or other form of community engagement around misinformation, disinformation, or information integrity, please let us know. Send an e-mail with the subject “disinformation mapping” to Costanza (csciubbacaniglia@wikimedia.org), copy Ziski Putz (fputz@wikimedia.org), and note the time zone in which you are based.

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