Internet Archive fears Trump library burnings

library-alexandria-destructionThe Internet Archive is building a backup archive in Canada after the election of Donald “Prince of Orange” Trump because it fears it is too vulnerable to court orders and destruction.

The archive is a digital library nonprofit unit that preserves billions of webpages for the historical record, Today, it began collecting donations for the Internet Archive of Canada, intended to create a copy of the archive outside the United States.

Brewster Kahle said that the election of Trump was a wake up call for institutions like his, built for the long-term, and needs 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. It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase,” he said.

The San Francisco-based Internet Archive is comprised of several different preservation efforts, spanning nearly every medium. As of 2012, the entire archive held 10 petabytes of data – for reference, Facebook’s entire photo and video collection totaled 100 petabytes around the same time. Alongside films and books, the archive holds thousands of early software programs and video games that can be emulated on modern systems. It’s particularly known for the Wayback Machine, which continuously crawls the web to archive pages over the course of decades.

Kahle estimates it will cost “millions” of dollars to host a copy of the Internet Archive in Canada, but it would shield its data from some American legal action.

Trump has shown support for greater law enforcement surveillance powers and legal censorship, including “closing that internet up in some ways” to fight terrorism”.

Kahle said that  moving the internet archive would both insulate it from efforts to take down specific content, and make it harder to request data on user activity — something that more traditional librarians fought when American surveillance powers expanded under George W. Bush.   The Internet Archive  sees it as a big libary which is vulnerable to the same sort of book burning craze that flattened the Libary in Alexandria.