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Photo by Jon Rawlinson, CC BY 2.0.

On March 14, 2017, the Wikimedia Foundation joined more than 50 other organizations, including Electronic Arts, Pinterest, and Zendesk, to file an amicus brief in State of Hawaii v. Trump. The brief supports the issuance of a temporary restraining order against a new executive order issued in the United States that imposes restrictions on travel and immigration based on national origin. The brief demonstrates that these restrictions will cause serious harm to the Wikimedia Foundation and signatories’ operations, and explains how the order itself violates fundamental essential constitutional protections.

The Wikimedia vision is a world in which everyone can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. In support of this vision, the Wikimedia Foundation is an inherently global organization. When our ability to collaborate across the world is hindered, our work toward that vision suffers. After an earlier executive order placing restrictions on travel was issued in January of this year, the Wikimedia Foundation joined an amicus filed in State of Washington, et. al. v. Trump. With the issuance of this latest executive order, the fate of that case is as yet uncertain. However, it remains clear that any effort to stifle international travel and collaboration will seriously impact the operations of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects are the work of thousands of volunteers who collaborate across cultures, languages, countries, beliefs, and experiences to share free knowledge with the world. Together, they have created the world’s free knowledge resource—available in nearly 300 languages spanning all corners of the globe. Reflecting both this breadth of content, and the global nature of our mission, the Wikimedia Foundation has employees and contractors from all over the globe, and we collaborate with community members, chapters, and affiliate groups in nearly every time zone. Restrictions on international travel will greatly hinder our ability to work together in furtherance of making free knowledge available to everyone, everywhere.

For more information about the importance of travel and collaboration to the Wikimedia Foundation’s operations, please see our February 5, 2017 blog post about the amicus we joined in Washington. Additionally, the January 30 statement by our Executive Director Katherine Maher discusses the Foundation’s philosophy of making free knowledge available across all borders.

The latest restrictions presented in the U.S. executive order are antithetical to the spirit of open collaboration that has allowed the internet and the Wikimedia projects in particular to flourish. We urge the court to grant the restraining order, and provide protection until the order’s legal and constitutional infirmities can be fully examined.

The list of signatories, as of publishing time, follows.

  1. Airbnb, Inc.
  2. AltSchool, PBC
  3. Ampush LLC
  4. Appboy
  5. Appnexus, Inc.
  6. Azavea
  7. CareZone, Inc.
  8. Chegg, Inc.
  9. Cloudera
  10. Color Genomics, Inc.
  11. Copia Institute
  12. DoorDash
  13. Dropbox, Inc.
  14. Electronic Arts
  15. EquityZen Inc.
  16. Evernote Corporation
  17. Flipboard
  18. General Assembly Space, Inc.
  19. Glassdoor, Inc.
  20. Greenhouse Software, Inc.
  21. IDEO
  22. Imgur, Inc.
  23. Indiegogo, Inc.
  24. Kargo Global, Inc.
  25. Kickstarter, PBC
  26. Light
  27. Linden Research, Inc. d/b/a Linden Lab
  28. Lithium Technologies, Inc.
  29. Lyft
  30. Lytro, Inc.
  31. Mapbox, Inc.
  32. Marin Software Incorporated
  33. Meetup, Inc.
  34. Memebox Corporation
  35. MongoDB, Inc.
  36. NetApp, Inc.
  37. Patreon, Inc.
  38. Pinterest, Inc.
  39. Postmates Inc.
  40. Quora, Inc.
  41. RealNetworks, Inc.
  42. RetailMeNot, Inc.
  43. Rocket Lawyer Incorporated
  44. Shutterstock, Inc.
  45. Square, Inc.
  46. Strava, Inc.
  47. SugarCRM
  48. Sunrun, Inc.
  49. TripAdvisor, Inc.
  50. Turo, Inc.
  51. Twilio Inc.
  52. Udacity, Inc.
  53. Upwork
  54. Warby Parker
  55. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
  56. Work & Co
  57. Y Combinator Management, LLC
  58. Zendesk, Inc.

Michelle Paulson, Interim General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation

Special thanks to the law firm Paul, Weiss for drafting the brief, to the other signatories of the brief for their collaboration and support in this matter, and to the Wikimedia Foundation Communications, Legal, Talent and Culture, and Travel teams for their work since the initial order was first issued.

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