Move the Cloud to Canada.
The Internet Archive — a nonprofit digital library based in San Francisco — is asking for donations to save the Web from Trump’s America by backing it up in Canada.
It’s not uncommon for ad-free websites to ask for money — think Wikipedia’s oft-seen banners — but the Archive’s request comes with specific motivations. The organization wants to back up the internet to prepare for President Donald Trump.
“On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change,” the Internet Archive’s donation request statement read. “It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change.”
Brewster Kahle, the founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, clarified his statement to the Daily News.
“The statements by Trump on the campaign trail have put us in higher gear, and hence the call for funding,” he told The News.
Specifically, Kahle cited a statement Trump made during his campaign, where he referred to “Bill Gates and a lot of different people,” and added that, “We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some way,” in reference to security concerns caused by ISIS.
The Internet Archive is a digital library hosting archives of current and past web pages (over 250 billion), with the mission for “universal access to all knowledge.” The Archive cites the Library of Alexandria in Egypt — which was burned down — as a pinnacle for both a project of this endeavor and lost knowledge.
Donald Trump, in addition to his comments about “closing up the internet,” was very concerned at the September presidential debate about “the cyber,” saying “The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough.”
In addition to the Wayback Machine of internet pages, the website hosts music, videos, more than 3 million ebooks and public domain titles that can be downloaded for free.
“Libraries like ours are susceptible to different fault lines: earthquakes, legal regimes, institutional failure,” Kahle added in his statement.
He said that it could cost about $5 million “to build a running archive in Canada. But we can make steps in this direction with less.”
The process involves building the archive in Canada, copying the books, microfilm, and websites in the nonprofit’s collections onto servers, creating a backup copy, then running a live copy of those collections.
“We do not know what will happen,” Kahle says, “but we libraries think long-term and remember past tragedies.”