Are you one of those people who helped crash the Canadian immigration website as news broke that Donald Trump was going to win the election?
Well you’re not alone in your longing for northward migration. The web’s independent Internet Archive, currently based in San Francisco, California, is moving its records across the United States’ northern border to Canada in an effort to protect the integrity of its records from the incoming Trump administration.
Is Canada now more trustworthy than the U.S. when it comes to protecting the freedom of the Web?
Affectionately referred to as the “Wayback Machine,” the Internet Archive has stored a record of every single web page to ever be posted on the internet.
That translates to an awe-inspiring 279 billion web pages and 20+ years worth of content that have been saved to the Archive’s servers.
Brewster Kahle – the archive’s founder and chief “digital librarian” – signaled that some changes were in the works in response to Trump’s stunning victory. In a blog post on election night, Kahle said that the archive team was “shell shocked” and were soliciting advice for “what [they] might do.”
The Internet Archive is building a back-up to defend itself against Trump. In Canada. https://t.co/BhdOhZDDJp
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) November 29, 2016
The Internet Archive will be creating a duplication of its records on Canadian-based servers, signaling their distrust for the Trump administration in regards to net neutrality and freedom of expression. Who’s to say that President Trump wouldn’t want some of the less flattering stories he’s racked up about himself over the years wiped from the archive?
In a statement announcing the plans for a Canadian outpost of the Internet Archive, Kahle said:
“Libraries like ours are susceptible to different fault lines…For us, [duplicating our records in Canada] means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible.
It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions. It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase.”
To fund their record-copying plans, the Internet Archive is asking its frequenters for donations. If you believe that the internet belongs to everyone, and that its integrity should be protected at all costs, you can donate here.
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