IP Information tool guidelines

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    The IP Information tool helps users protect the Wikimedia projects by providing information they need about IP addresses. As a condition of access, users must agree to the following guidelines.

    Background

    Wikimedia Sites are the collaborative product of a global community of volunteer users. The Sites can be edited with or without a Wikimedia account and can be edited with or without signing into an account.

    The Wikimedia Foundation gives certain logged-in users access to limited amounts of information about IP addresses to enable users to enforce or investigate potential violations of Wikimedia Foundation or user community-based policies.

    Purpose

    The IP Information feature was developed to help streamline anti-abuse work centered on the edits of unregistered and non-logged-in contributors.

    The tool has two access levels: Limited Access (which displays a limited set of IP information) and Full Access (which displays a broader range of IP information, including the city-level location, organization, Internet service provider, and autonomous system number). Limited Access is intended to empower a broad range of users to protect the Wikimedia projects using basic IP information. Full Access provides more detailed IP information to a smaller subset of trusted users, as described below.

    Requirements for access

    To gain access, users must enable the tool in Special:Preferences. Limited Access is then available to any user who is autoconfirmed and has agreed to these guidelines. Full Access is only available to users who are members of the user groups of administrator, bureaucrat, checkuser, oversight, or steward who have also agreed to these guidelines. More information about the two access levels is in the table under Using the tool.

    Removal of access

    Users may voluntarily give up their access to the tool at any time by visiting Special:Preferences.

    Concerns about potential abuse of the IP Information tool may be brought to a steward by placing a request on Steward requests/Permissions#Removal of access. Stewards are authorized to terminate a user’s access to the IP Information tool if the user is determined to have misused the tool. If necessary, requests for review by Foundation Trust & Safety staff can be made through ca@wikimedia.org and user access removed in line with the Office actions policy. Complaints about infringements of the Privacy Policy will be escalated for review by the ombuds commission.

    To ensure accountability, a log is kept of tool usage and of which users have access to the tool.

    Use and disclosure of IP information

    Use of the IP Information tool is limited to certain circumstances and contexts. This section covers the situations in which the tool may be used and when information obtained through this tool (IP information) may be disclosed.

    Use of IP information

    Use of IP information is solely for enforcement against or investigation of vandalism, abuse, spam, harassment, disruptive behavior, and other violations of Wikimedia Foundation or community policies. Access to IP information should be on an as-needed basis and in compliance with the Privacy Policy and any more restrictive community policies applicable to the relevant Site.

    The tool should not be used in an illegal manner and should not be used to inappropriately threaten or pressure users of the Sites who are not engaged in prohibited activity.

    Information provided by the tool is not guaranteed to be accurate. Because no open-source alternative exists for this information, the IP Information tool currently displays data from MaxMind's GeoIP2 databases. Accordingly, use of the tool is subject to the MaxMind End User License Agreement, including the following restrictions:

    • Do not use, copy, or create derivative works of any information from the tool except as reasonably required in use of the tool.
    • Do not allow anyone other than yourself to use the tool.
    • Do not use the tool for the purpose of identifying a user’s real name or physical address.

    Externally hosted software will not be granted permission to use the IP Information tool due to the use of MaxMind proprietary data in the tool.

    Disclosure

    In the course of keeping the Sites and its users safe, users may sometimes need to disclose IP information to third parties. Permissible disclosures are limited to the following circumstances:

    • Users who have agreed to the separate Access to nonpublic personal data policy may disclose IP information as permitted under that policy.
    • All users of this tool may disclose IP information to other users of the IP Information tool with the same or higher access rights as needed. To check if a user has access to the tool, please confirm within the local Site’s Special:Log/rights page for the ipinfo-viewer right. When possible, users should direct other users of the tool to the relevant contributions page rather than disclose IP information directly.

    If IP information needs to be disclosed in connection to a threat of imminent physical harm, immediately email emergency@wikimedia.org with details of the request so that it can be evaluated for possible Foundation disclosure.

    Using the tool

    The IP Information tool is accessible through an infobox on the Special:Contributions page of unregistered editors and an abridged version is accessible via a popup on log, history, and recent changes pages.

    A log is kept of queries made using the IP Information tool and how the information was accessed. Access to this log is limited to Foundation staff and certain advanced user groups. The following is an example of what is logged:

    • 10 May 2022 User:A viewed limited IP Information popup for 1.1.1.1
    • 10 May 2022 User:B viewed full IP Information popup for 2.2.2.2
    • 10 May 2022 User:C viewed limited IP Information infobox for 3.3.3.3
    • 10 May 2022 User:D viewed full IP Information infobox for 4.4.4.4

    The information accessible through the tool is described in the table below, as is where the information is accessible and to which users. The source of the first 10 items is MaxMind data, whereas the source of items 11-13 is data from Wikimedia Sites.

    IP information and access levels
    N IP Info Description Where accessible Access level
    1 Location The city-level location associated with the IP address Popup and Special:Contributions Full Access only: administrator, bureaucrat, checkuser, oversight, or steward
    2 Organization The name of the organization associated with the IP address Popup and Special:Contributions
    3 ISP The name of the Internet service provider associated with the IP address Special:Contributions
    4 ASN The autonomous system number associated with the IP address Special:Contributions
    5 Country The country-level location associated with the IP address Popup and Special:Contributions Limited and Full Access: autoconfirmed user group and above
    6 Connection method The connection method can be: Dialup, Cable/DSL, Corporate, Cellular Special:Contributions
    7 Connection owner The connection owner can be: business, cafe, cellular, college, consumer_privacy_network, content_delivery_network, government, hosting, library, military, residential, router, school, search_engine_spider, traveler Special:Contributions
    8 Real IP / Proxy Whether the IP address is on a suspected anonymizing network and belongs to a residential ISP, is a public proxy, or appears to be an internal VPN used by a corporation Special:Contributions
    9 Static / Dynamic An indicator of how static or dynamic an IP address is Special:Contributions
    10 Number of devices on IP The estimated number of users sharing the IP/network during the past 24 hours Special:Contributions
    11 Blocks The active and past blocks associated with the IP address Popup and Special:Contributions
    12 Local Contributions The local edits to the Wikimedia site that are associated with the IP address Popup and Special:Contributions
    13 Global Contributions The global edits to all Wikimedia sites that are associated with the IP address Special:Contributions

    See also