Heh, it’s not just the CIA, either. Apparently the Aussie politicians are at it, too.
FEDERAL Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has described as “odd” news reports that Prime Minister John Howard’s departmental staff have been caught editing Wikipedia to remove details that might be damaging to the government.
“I notice the prime minister is engaging public servants to change Wikipedia,” Mr Rudd told the Seven Network today.
“My own personal staff, I’m sure look through Wikipedia to make factual changes, no excuses about that, but using public service departments to make sure the truth is delivered according to Howard?”
Fairfax reports today that staff in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet have made 126 edits to Wikipedia, on subjects ranging from the children overboard affair to Treasurer Peter Costello.
“On Wikipedia anything can appear,” Mr Rudd said.
“It is entirely legitimate for your personal political staff to make changes of a factual nature, but to engage public servants to go out there and re-edit history, it strikes me as odd to say the least.”
A new website - Wikiscanner - which traces the digital fingerprints of people who make changes to entries in the online encyclopedia, identifies the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as the source of the edits.
Wikiscanner also identifies Department of Defence employees as the most prolific Wikipedia contributors in Australia.
Wikipedia is promoted as the “free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”.
The Department of Defence said yesterday it would ban defence staff from accessing the encyclopedia.
Defence computers were found to have made more than 5,000 edits to Wikipedia entries, including articles on the “9/11 truth movement”, the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Vietnam War-era Pentagon Papers.