Wednesday, 30 November 2016 09:46

Web archive plans Canada mirror after Trump election

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The non-profit Internet Archive, that has been archiving the Web for the last two decades, has started seeking donations to create another mirror in Canada.

The move comes after the election of Donald Trump as president of the US, in the fear that his administration will result in more censorship of the Internet.

During the presidential campaign, Trump said that the US should consider "closing" the Internet to prevent the spread of extremism.

"We're losing a lot of people because of the internet," Trump said at a rally in December last year. "We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening.

"We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some ways. Somebody will say, 'Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.' These are foolish people."

In a blog post, the man behind the archive, Brewster Kale, wrote: "On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change.

"For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions."

The archive's Wayback Machine saves something in the region of 300 million Web pages a week.

"The history of libraries is one of loss," Kale wrote. "The Library of Alexandria is best known for is disappearance. Libraries like ours are susceptible to different fault lines: earthquakes, legal regimes, (and) institutional failure.

"So this year, we have set a new goal: to create a copy of Internet Archive’s digital collections in another country. We are building the Internet Archive of Canada because, to quote our friends at LOCKSS, 'lots of copies keep stuff safe'. This project will cost millions."

Donations can be made here.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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