News and Notes: NSA lawsuit, WikiTribune, and a new General Counsel


An edit war broke out on the Wikipedia page for Joe Lieberman’s law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman after Leiberman became the frontrunner for FBI director.  The name of Donald Trump was listed in the lede paragraph as one of the firm’s prominent clients, but an IP removed Trump’s name several times before the page was protected. Lieberman later withdrew his name from consideration.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia has ruled in favor of the Wikimedia Foundation in its challenge of the NSA’s surveillance program.  The WMF was represented by American Civil Liberties Union and was joined in the lawsuit by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International USA, however the court ruled the other two organizations do not have standing to continue the lawsuit. The existence of the NSA’s upstream collection program was discovered in documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Jimmy Wales’ WikiTribune project has hired Holly Brockwell, the editor-in-chief of Gadgette, a women’s tech site, as their first journalist.  Wales made the announcement via Twitter. Brockwell revealed via Twitter that Wales was using her laptop to interview Edward Snowden.


Eileen Hershenov

The Wikimedia Foundation search for a new General Counsel has ended with the appointment of Eileen Hershenov.  Hershenov has extensive experience with non-profits and has served as the general counsel for Consumers Union and the Open Society Foundations.  Wikimedia press release. Wikimedia blog post.

Elections for the Funds Dissemination Committee will be held from June 3-11.  The community will be able to ask the candidates questions from May 29-June 2.  The committee makes recommendations on grant proposals to the Board of Trustees.

The Wikimedia Foundation Form 990 for FY 2015-2016 is now available. The form lists salaries for top executives in the organization. A FAQ about the filing is available.

The names of 110 individuals have been announced for scholarships to Wikimania 2017.


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