The US election has forced tech companies and other entities to look closely at their operations, owing to the imminent Trump administration coming into power. At least one pivotal entity, the non-profit Internet Archive, has taken to creating an insurance policy in Canada, in the form of a mirror.
The Internet Archive is behind the landmark Wayback Machine, a service which charts the internet’s history and has already saved billions of URLs. The Wayback Machine sees between 300 million and 750 million webpages being saved every week, capturing old articles and forgotten websites.
In other words, creating a mirror won’t be a trivial task for the company, as it’s already saved over 26 petabytes worth of information.
In explaining its decision to create a mirror in Canada, the organisation said that libraries are susceptible to loss via the likes of earthquakes, institutional failures and legal regimes.
The team behind the Internet Archive said it was ‘preparing for a web that may face greater restrictions’
“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’,” the organisation wrote in a statement.
So what in particular spurred this decision? Well, the non-profit was pretty upfront about it.
“On 9 November 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,” the organisation said in a statement.
“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 Internet Archive adds that the project will cost millions of dollars, urging users to donate to the initiative.