From the ‘everybody should have an off-site backup’ department…

The Internet Archive is backing itself up… to Canada.

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Internet archive

BBC News reports:

The Internet Archive, which stores copies of billions of websites, says it will keep a back-up in Canada following Donald Trump’s US election victory.

The US-based organisation said the Trump administration was a “firm reminder” that it needed to adapt.

The organisation archives 300 million websites every week, but said it was preparing for “a web that may face greater restrictions”.

As I described in a recent video, backups make sense. Sensible people make backups.

Hopefully you’ll never have to use your backup. But just in case the worst happens, it’s good to know it’s there.

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Whatever the Internet Archive’s motivation for making an off-site backup, it seems like a sensible move to me.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

6 comments on “From the ‘everybody should have an off-site backup’ department…”

  1. Brian T

    I wonder what interest the Internet Archive thinks Trump has in restricting the internet? I've never heard him suggest anything about doing that?

    1. Jim C · in reply to Brian T

      Because Trump has apparently suggested he will reverse the FCC's net neutrality decision (regulation), which will spell trouble for internet users in US. Who knows what else he has in mind.

  2. Michael Ponzani

    I've used the internet archive befpre. It's wonderful.

  3. Thomas D Dial

    Backups, as the article states, are Good Things for a lot of reasons. Doing it in Canada because Trump probably is not one of them. In addition to the lack of apparent real interest by the US President elect in restricting access to archival or current web information, locating the backup in Canada is unlikely to reduce availability of either the data or information about its users to the NSA, the CSEC, or any other Five Eyes communication intelligence or law enforcement agencies.

    Indeed, it is not clear where to locate such a backup if the goal is to protect, in some sense, data about Internet Archive users, and the US or Canada may be as good as any. Host country citizens and legal residents are protected by local laws and procedures, and others generally are much less strictly protected. Canadian and other Five Eyes citizens probably have comparable legal protection from all Five Eyes communication intelligence agencies. Others may, depending on treaty and other inter-nation agreements. Lacking such agreements, they are likely to be protected only by intelligence agency lack of interest or forbearance, together with whatever measures they undertake on their own behalf.

  4. Stentley

    The BBC report mentions Mr. Trump twice, implying that his election victory somehow provides a compelling reason for keeping a backup in Canada…even though there is no explanation as to what that reason might be.

    "The US-based organisation said the Trump administration was a "firm reminder" that it needed to adapt."

    What??? Adapt to what? What is there about the Trump administration (which does not even take office until 2017, January 20) that makes it more important or urgent to keep a backup in Canada? How will the safety or security of backed-up data be any more threatened under Mr. Trump that it is under Mr. Obama? The BBC report doesn't say.

    Unless the BBC is simply adding their voice to the torrent of mindless fear & loathing of Mr. Trump that the mainstream media in the U.S. have been vomiting since Mr. Trump announced his candidacy, some actual facts would be helpful…or is that outside the scope of BBC "reporting"?

    1. coyote · in reply to Stentley

      You have one word right: mindless.

      As for his inauguration not happening yet? Only a fool would wait until it’s already happened. You can’t prevent something that has already happened, can you? So obviously you prepare in advance. Hence the meaning of ‘prepare’. Perhaps this is beyond you but if not now you know why it should happen before his inauguration. At least I hope you do.

      As for why they wouldn’t want backups in the US? Use your imagination for a little while. And think. There are many reasons why (but I’m not telling you because I suspect you’ll be oblivious to it just as much as the rest and in either case it would help you for your own good to think in this way). This actually could go before he comes in. Why should anyone trust the United States of America? There are other more serious reasons though.

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