The Washington Post

Jimmy Wales on the Russia Wikipedia blackout

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia. (Chris O'Meara/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

For the full story on Jimmy Wales’s visit and his take on Internet laws and the threat of Apple, check out Post reporter Cecilia Kang’s report on Post Tech.

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales stopped by The Washington Post on Tuesday to discuss the blackout of Wikipedia in Russia. In an interview, Wales said he only found out about the blackout Monday, having heard “rumblings” about the law being debated in parliament Tuesday, which would grant the Russian government power to blackout Web sites, as the Post’s Olga Khazan reports.

The 24-hour blackout is very similar to the blackout of Wikipedia in the United States in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in January, which proponents argued would put an end to illegal sharing of proprietary content

“We’ll see what happens,” Wales said.

“I think we’ll always be quite keen on these issues,” Wales said of Wikipedia’s interest in the continued debate over the balance between stopping illegal data sharing, while preserving open sharing as exemplified by Wikipedia and other open-data Web sites.

“One of the things that tends to rally people together very much is that the conditions which allow us to do our work are really, really important, not just for us, but for the entire Internet,” Wales said. “So, anything that causes it to be difficult for volunteers to share information freely to share knowledge, to write, to do things is, you know, anathema to us.”

Read more news and ideas on Innovations:

Russian Wikipedia shut down to protest ‘censorship’ bill

5 questions: The hidden connections

Mars as you’ve never seen it before

Show Comments
Washington Post Subscriptions

Get 2 months of digital access to The Washington Post for just 99¢.

A limited time offer for Apple Pay users.

Buy with
Cancel anytime

$9.99/month after the two month trial period. Sales tax may apply.
By subscribing you agree to our Terms of Service, Digital Products Terms of Sale & Privacy Policy.

Get 2 months of digital access to The Washington Post for just 99¢.

Most Read
Read stories based on reporting for “Trump Revealed,” a broad, comprehensive biography of the life of the president-elect.



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing