The Internet Archive or IA is a non-profit organization dedicated to archiving the web and is located in San Francisco, California. The project also serves as a digital library. These electronic archives consist of snapshots (copies of pages taken at different times) of Internet, software, movies, books and audio recordings. The crawler used by the AI is a free software called Heritrix. The scanning software books, also free, is Scribe.
Because of Trump’s election as the next president of the United States, the AI is seeking to duplicate its huge database in Canada, a move that would help deal with a potential rise of surveillance during the mandate of the Republican president, and perhaps disappearance of the archive.
In a blog post, the organization announced that it seeks to collect donations for establishing the Internet Archive Canada.
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,” said IA. “For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for the Web that may face greater restrictions.”
If Snowden announced during a video conference that Trump’s election is not a problem in itself, the AI is nevertheless convinced that the new administration will increase its supervisory powers especially after the announcement of the upcoming figures like Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and Mike Pompeo as CIA director, both having been supporters of large-scale spy plane during the George W. Bush era.
The report of the agency also said that the practices alleged by Snowden, such as collecting bulk data, activity monitoring Internet, and email, will probably continue in the future. It should be recalled that during his election campaign, Donald Trump has proven perfectly conducive to mass surveillance carried out by the NSA.
Earlier this month, Snowden said that the Bush and Obama administrations have been behind the establishment of a high-performance general monitoring system which will inherit Trump during his next term. Snowden is particularly familiar with this system since it was revealed in 2013 information classified as secret NSA tops for capturing metadata phone calls in the US, as well as monitoring systems on the internet PRISM monitoring programs.
To justify his revelations, he said his “only goal is to tell the public what is being done in his name and what is done against him. Such programs could allow the next president to be around forever. The recent terrorist attacks were followed by the approval of new surveillance powers to the security forces, which means they could be misused in the future.
For this reason, the Internet Archive table on donations from users in order to finance the costs related to the hosting servers and staff and are estimated at millions of dollars. For the organization, its mission is of utmost importance. This prevents anyone rewrites history simply because there exists no digital trace. The Web needs a memory and a way to remember.