CIA, FBI Computers Used For Wikipedia Edits

Kevin Mwanza
Written by Kevin Mwanza
Wayne Messam Wikipedia
CIA and FBI computers were allegedly used to edit Wikipedia pages related to the Iraq War and the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Dignitaries cut a ribbon to mark the dedication of the FBI’s new $194 million South Florida field office, April 10, 2015, in Miramar, Fla. From left, then-FBI Director James Comey, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, acting GSA Administrator Denise Roth, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Miramar, Fla. Mayor Wayne Messam, and George Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, Pool)

Did FBI and CIA agents alter entries on Wikipedia? Apparently yes, according to a program that tracks computers used to make changes to the online encyclopedia.

WikiScanner, a program created by Santa Fe Institute researcher Virgil Griffith in 2007, revealed that CIA and FBI computers were used to edit topics on the Iraq War and the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Reuters reported.

Griffith also found computers at other organizations were used to edit topics related to themselves.

These changes may violate Wikipedia’s conflict-of-interest guidelines, according to a spokeswoman for the site.

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Wikipedia pages edited

It was not known whether changes were made by an official representative of an agency or company, a CIA spokesman said, but it is certain the change was made by someone with access to the organization’s network.

Some of the edits included entries on the U.S.- led invasion of Iraq in 2003 with a graphic on causalities altered to stipulate that many figures were estimated and were not broken down by class.

Another entry on former CIA chief William Colby was edited by CIA computers to expand his career history and discuss the merits of a Vietnam War rural pacification program that he headed.