In Canada we trust.
Canada (aka America’s hat) has proven, time and time again, that they’re a tolerant, thoughtful and progressive society. Next to Canada, the American stereotype of gun-toting patriots is exaggerated.
Something about the election of chaos-loving Trump last month got under the skin of the forward-thinking Americans who run the Internet Archive.
Maybe it was when Trump spoke about ‘the cyber’: “So we had to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is a huge problem. I have a son—he’s 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers. It’s unbelievable,”
…Or perhaps it was when he talked about literally closing up the Internet and mocked freedom of speech:
“We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way. Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people.”
While the exact statement that spooked them can’t be pinpointed, they definitely freaked out when his election was announced. The founder of the Internet Archive, Brewster Kahle, revealed his fears for the future in a blog post: “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.”
The Internet Archive was founded in 1996, and serves as a kind of history of the Internet. It archives everything that’s ever been online. The most hyped feature of the Archive is the Wayback Machine, which allows users to view any site, on any date, at any time.
For example, this is what Google looked like at 1:34 AM on February 8, 1999:
But as fun as this feature of the Archive is, it really serves as memory and accountability for the entire web community. Everything is remembered. The Archive is free, accessible, and reader private – for now.
The Archive’s founder genuinely fears the censorship of the web in Trump’s America, and is asking for users to donate money to help build a backup archive in Canada. Canada, land of this guy:
Libraries like ours are susceptible to different fault lines:
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.” This project will cost millions.