U.S.-based nonprofit the Internet Archive wants to create a copy of its library in Canada, fearing its safety in today's America ruled by Donald Trump.
The Internet Archive documents the history of the internet, collecting one webpage at a time, to preserve our online history. Through its Wayback Machine, for instance, you can see how Apple's homepage looked all the way back in 1998.
With Donald Trump now the president of the United States, however, the Internet Archive is concerned about its future and wants to make sure that the data it has collected so far stay safe for posterity.
While many Americans jokingly said they'd move to Canada if Trump won the elections, the Internet Archive is actually pushing through with such plans. Its move is fueled by Trump's comments about net neutrality and First Amendment rights.
Preparing For Radical Change
"On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change," says the Internet Archive. "It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change."
The Internet Archive adds that first and foremost, it wants to keep its cultural materials private, safe and accessible. However, it also has to prepare for a Web weighed down by heavier restrictions and for "serving patrons" while government surveillance seems to be increasing.
Net Neutrality Under Donald Trump
Fears that a Trump presidency would spell trouble for net neutrality have been building up, and the Internet Archive wants to protect itself from Trump by creating a Canadian replica of its U.S. library.
"The history of libraries is one of loss," notes the Internet Archive. "The Library of Alexandria is best known for its disappearance."
The Internet Archive Backup In Canada
Creating a backup in Canada would help prevent such a loss, preserving and protecting its data at a time when privacy and surveillance in America are unpredictable with Trump now at the helm.
Trump has so far expressed support for greater government surveillance and legal censorship, including restricting the internet to fight terrorism. The Internet Archive believes that backing up its data trove in Canada would protect it against efforts to force the removal of some content, as well as make it harder to get access to data on user activity. At the same time, a Canadian backup would also make data redundant to ensure it doesn't disappear.
Moving To Canada Costs Millions
The Internet Archive says that it collects a massive 300 million webpages per week and building a replica of its entire library in Canada will cost millions of dollars. Consequently, the nonprofit is asking for donations to help fund the move and keep its data safe.