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Wikipedia drops support for old Android smartphones; mandates TLSv1.2 to read

Silicon Valley is typically out of touch with reality. 

Mike Hammett 
Intelligent Computing Solutions 


----- Original Message -----

From: "Constantine A. Murenin" <mureninc at gmail.com> 
To: "North American Network Operators' Group" <nanog at nanog.org> 
Sent: Tuesday, December 31, 2019 1:34:19 AM 
Subject: Wikipedia drops support for old Android smartphones; mandates TLSv1.2 to read 

Dear all, 

It came to my attention that anyone visiting en.wikipedia.org site from an "old Android smartphone", as Wikipedia puts it, will be redirected to https://en.wikipedia.org/sec-warning ( http://web.archive.org/web/20191217154700/https://en.wikipedia.org/sec-warning ), which, amongst other things, reads the following: 


: 中æ??: ç»´å?ºç?¾ç§?æ­£å?¨ä½¿ç½?ç«?æ?´å? å®?å?¨ã??æ?¨æ­£å?¨ä½¿ç?¨æ?§ç??æµ?è§?å?¨ï¼?è¿?å?¨å°?æ?¥æ? æ³?è¿?æ?¥ç»´å?ºç?¾ç§?ã??请æ?´æ?°æ?¨ç??设å¤?æ??è??ç»?æ?¨ç??IT管ç??å??ã??以ä¸?æ??ä¾?æ?´é?¿ï¼?æ?´å?·æ??æ?¯æ?§ç??æ?´æ?°ï¼?ä»?è?±è¯­ï¼?ã?? 
: We are removing support for insecure TLS protocol versions, specifically TLSv1.0 and TLSv1.1, which your browser software relies on to connect to our sites. This is usually caused by using some ancient browser or user agents like old Android smartphones. Also it could be interference from corporate or personal "Web Security" software which actually downgrades connection security. 
: You must upgrade your browser or otherwise fix this issue to access our sites. This message will remain until Jan 1, 2020. After that date, your browser will not be able to establish a connection to our servers at all. 
: See also the HTTPS Browser Recommendations page on Wikitech for more-detailed information. 


This is yet another assault on the less fortunate folk for absolutely no valid technical reason. Yet another assault on the free flow of information. 

Everyone should be able to access an encyclopaedia without any such restrictions; wasn't that the whole original premise behind Wikipedia in the first place? Why are they now precluding valid users from having access? What happened with the idea of following Postel's law? http://web.archive.org/web/20191212212040/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robustness_principle 

If you have an old iPad device lying around, why should you be precluded from having access to an encyclopaedia? A Google search reveals that there's already iOS users receiving these messages, too. (BTW, Google Search itself still works fine over plain HTTP â?? FYI â?? as does Bing and Baidu, but not Yandex.) 

If anyone is aware of a tracking-free TLS-free mirror, LMK. I cannot link to Wikipedia in good conscience anymore knowing that they block folks left and right now. 

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