Internet Archive copies data to Canada after Donald Trump election

1 Dec 2016

President-elect Donald Trump. Image: lev radin/Shutterstock

Canada is to play host to the memory banks of the internet, as the Internet Archive revealed it is to back up its data there, after the election of Donald Trump.

In an age of nostalgia and looking back on what was once considered high-tech, the Internet Archive – otherwise known as the ‘Wayback Machine’ – serves as a reminder of how far the world wide web has come over the past few decades.

The non-profit site has stored billions of deleted webpages in the hope that future generations will one day be able to refer back to events or websites of historical importance – but it is now fearful of a Donald Trump presidency.

Having been based in the US since it was founded, the Internet Archive announced in a statement that in the face of “radical change” following the election of Donald Trump as president, it needed to future-proof its data by copying it to servers in Canada.

“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.

Government surveillance will increase

Following the election results, the organisation’s founder Brewster Kahle had admitted to being “shell-shocked” by the result, before going on to say that its operations of 150 staff would remain safe.

“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 organisation said.

“It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed, it looks like it will increase.”

Throughout the presidential campaign, the Internet Archive ran a website dedicated to archiving political adverts for journalists and the public to access, should these videos be taken down in the future on sites like YouTube.

Kahle and the organisation are now calling on regular users and interested parties to donate to the operation as “this project will cost millions”.

President-elect Donald Trump. Image: lev radin/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic