Did The CIA Edit Wikipedia Pages?

A new web tool has been developed by researchers in the US to track the identity of organizations that edit pages on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, andit’s revealed some very interesting and disturbing things.   The tool, called Wikipedia Scanner, has revealed that computers at the CIA madechanges to the entry about Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and that it appears the Vatican altered a page relating to Sin Fein leader Gerry Adams.   On the page of Iranian PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad, Scanner has shown that someone on the CIA network reportedly added the exclamation "Wahhhhhh!" before a section on the leader’s plans for his presidency. A warning wasissued on the profile of the anonymous editor.   A CIA spokesperson said,   “I cannot confirm that the traffic you cite came from agency computers. I’d like in any case to underscorea 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 decisivework.”   Wikipedia entries can be edited by anyone.   The tool also seems to indicate that an edit in the page of Gerry Adams came from the Vatican. The edit removed links tonewspaper stories written in 2006 that alleged that Mr Adams’ fingerprints and handprints were found on a car used during a double murder in 1971.   Wikipedia Scanner works by going through thelist of edits on the site and matching them to the editor’s net address.   It’s turned up a few other problematic edits, such as one seeming to show that a computer owned by theDemocratic Party made abusive edits to the page about right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh.   Most edits found by Scanner are innocuous, but others polish entries – common amongpoliticians – and others remove embarrassing revelations.   Wikipedia Scanner is the brainchild of Virgil Griffith of the California Institute of Technology. It works by merging the netaddress of people who edit pages on Wikipedia with a database on IP address owners.

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