History is Written and Revised by the Winners - Can the Internet Archive Change That?


History is Written and Revised by the Winners - Can the Internet Archive Change That?
  1. History is Written and Revised by the Winners - Can the Internet Archive Change That?
    circleid.com
    Kremvax during the Soviet coup attempt (Top), Mumbai terrorist attack (Middle), The Arab Spring (Bottom) –…
    Internet

Kremvax during the Soviet coup attempt (Top), Mumbai terrorist attack (Middle), The Arab Spring (Bottom) – Click to EnlargeI was naively optimistic in the early days of the Internet, assuming that it would enhance democracy while providing "big data" for historians. My first taste of that came during the Soviet coup attempt of 1991 when I worked with colleagues to create an archive of the network traffic in, out and within the Soviet Union. That traffic flowed through a computer called "Kremvax," operated by RELCOM, a Russian software company.

The content of that archive was not generated by the government or the establishment media — it was citizen journalism, the collective work of independent observers and participants stored on a server at a university. What could go wrong with that?

The advent of the Web and Wikipedia fed my optimism. For example, when terrorists attacked various locations in Mumbai, India in 2008, citizen journalists inside and outside the hotels that were under attack began posting accounts. The Wikipedia topic began with two sentences:

"The 28 November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks were a series of attacks by terrorists in Mumbai, India. 25 are injured and 2 killed."

In less than 22 hours, 242 people had edited the page 942 times expanding it to 4,780 words organized into six major headings with five subheadings. (Today it is over 130,000 bytes, revisions continue and it is still viewed over 2,000 times per month). What could go wrong with that?

The 2011 Arab Spring was also seen as a demonstration of the power of the Internet as a democratic tool and repository of history. What could go wrong with that?

What went wrong

The problem is that the Internet turned out to be a tool of governments and terrorists as well as citizens. Furthermore, historical archives can disappear or, worse yet, be changed to reflect the view of the "winner."

Our Soviet Coup archive was set up on a server at the State University of New York, Oswego, by professor Dave Bozack. What will happen to it when he retires?

If someone tried to delete or significantly alter the Wikipedia page on the Mumbai attack, they might be thwarted by one of the volunteers who has signed up to be "page watchers" — people who are notified whenever the page they are watching is edited. We saw a reassuring demonstration of the rapid correction of vandalism in a podcast by Jon Udell. That was cool, but does it scale? Volunteers burn out. The page on the Mumbai attacks has 358 page watchers, but only 32 have visited the page after recent edits.

Even if a Wikipedia page remains intact, links to references and supporting material will eventually break — "link rot." If our Soviet Coup archive disappears after Dave's retirement, all the links to it will break.

By the time of the Arab Spring, we were well aware of our earlier naivete — the Internet was already being used for terrorism and government cyberwar and the dream of providing raw data for future historians and political scientists was fading.

The Internet Archive

I was slow to understand the fragility of the Internet, but others saw it early — most importantly, Brewster Kahle, who, in 1996, established the Internet Archive to cache Web pages and preserve them against deletion or modification. They have been at it for 20 years now and have a massive online repository of books, music, software, educational material, and, of course, Web sites, including our Soviet Coup archive. As shown here, it has been archived 50 times since October 3, 2002 and it will be online long after Dave retires — as long as the Internet Archive is online.
Soviet coup archive from Internet Archive – Click to EnlargeKhale understands that saving static Web sites like the Soviet Coup archive only captures part of what is happening online today. Since the late 1990s, we have been able to add programs to Web sites, turning them into interactive services. As such, he has recently begun archiving virtual machine versions of interactive government services and databases.

Khale is understandably concerned by the election of Donald Trump, who has demonstrated a keen ability to exploit the Internet and a disregard for truth. As such, he is raising money to create a backup copy of the Internet Archive in Canada and working to archive US Government Web sites and services.

The Internet is inconceivably large and growing exponentially. There is no way the Internet Archive can capture all of it, but it is the leading Internet-preservation organization today. Khale and…

Tags: #Terrorists
  1. UK e-commerce sales grow nearly 16% in 2016

    Internetretailer.com - Internet
    01.17 / 20:43 internetretailer.com
    Shoppers on smartphones helped drive online sales growth for British e-retailers in December, with sales on those devices up…
  2. Man who shoved autistic teen sentenced to community service, probation

    Blogs.democratandchronicle.com - Internet
    Martin MacDonald, 57, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday. He pleaded guilty in…
  3. Greece charter school leader under fire

    Blogs.democratandchronicle.com - Internet
    Parents and ex-staff members are calling for the resignation of Donna Marie…
  4. A.I. should help, not replace, workers, say CEOs of IBM and Microsoft

    Computerworld - News
    01.17 / 19:44 computerworld.com
    Artificial intelligence should enhance human workers, not replace them, at least according to the CEOs of IBM and Microsoft.Ginni Rometty and Satya Nadella made clear their view of the role of A.I. in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, just a few hours after Rometty circulated IBM's three guiding principles for the development of cognitive technologies to company staff.Less dramatic and snappily expressed than Isaac Asimov's three laws of…
  5. Google+ Hides Lower-Quality Comments, Adds Photo Zoom for Web, Events

    Allfacebook.com - Internet
    01.17 / 19:37 allfacebook.com
    Remember Google+? Yes, it still exists, and it announced three major updates…
  6. Online marketplace Letgo raises $175 million as it challenges eBay and other resellers

    Internetretailer.com - Internet
    01.17 / 18:52 internetretailer.com
    App-based Letgo says annual transaction volume will hit $23 billion by…
  7. Windows 10 Redstone: A guide to the builds

    Computerworld - News
    01.17 / 18:30 computerworld.com
    Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 Anniversary Update was rolled out, the company began work on the next two major updates to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 2 (which will likely be fully ready in the spring of 2017) and Redstone 3.  As it did with the Anniversary Update, Microsoft has been releasing public preview builds to members of Microsoft's Insider Program via a series of public preview builds.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click …
  8. Newegg plans to launch an online marketplace in China

    Internetretailer.com - Internet
    01.17 / 18:15 internetretailer.com
    China is one of more than 30 countries to which Newegg plans to expand its marketplace in…
  9. Man who shoved autistic teen to be sentenced

    Blogs.democratandchronicle.com - Internet
    Martin MacDonald, 57, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday. He pleaded guilty in…
  10. IT and the forever revolution

    Computerworld - News
    01.17 / 17:17 computerworld.com
    In this still young century, the IT industry has become obsessed with transformation and disruption. These two terms are little more than new labels for a centuries-old phenomenon that normal humans refer to as “revolution.” IT is all about revolution. It may seem paradoxical, but moving forward, organizations need to add revolutionary thinking and revolutionary behavior to standard operating procedure. In the future, to be sustainably successful, IT executives will have to become rev…
  11. Indian outsourcing firms bracing for changes

    Smartdatacollective.com - Internet
    01.17 / 17:00 smartdatacollective.com
    Infosys Ltd. pared its revenue growth projections for 2017 due to an increasingly unpredictable political atmosphere in both the U.S. and the UK, Reuters reports. Infosys is India’s second-largest software services exporter, and the U.S. and the U.K. are its two biggest customers.read m…
  12. Intel demos retail robot

    Rcrwireless.com - Internet
    01.17 / 16:20 rcrwireless.com
    Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took the stage at the National Retail Federation’s biggest show of the year to announce a new retail platform. He said the goal is to make shopping more personal and efficient by integrating retail hardware, software, APIs and sensors in a standardized way. Intel wants to make shopper data as available [...] The post Intel demos retail robot appeared first on RCR Wireless…
  13. KDDI and Altair Demonstrate Cellular LPWA for IoT

    M2mworldnews.com - Internet
    01.17 / 16:17 m2mworldnews.com
    Leading Carrier and Chipset Provider Demonstrate CAT-M1 and Release 13 Extended Battery Life. Altair Semiconductor today announced that it has teamed up with Japan’s KDDI to demo CAT-M (a.k.a. CAT-M1 or LTE-M), the new Release 13 in conjunction with ultra-low-power consumption, using LTE extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) and power saving mode (PSM) settings. The demonstration ... The post KDDI and Altair Demonstrate Cellular LPWA for IoT appeared first on IoT Business N…
  14. Facebook Live Deals With Publishers Won’t Be Renewed (Report)

    Allfacebook.com - Internet
    01.17 / 15:56 allfacebook.com
    When it comes to paying publishers for live video content, Facebook gaveth, but Facebook reportedly taketh…
  15. MulteFire Release 1.0 spec complete; focus shifts to trials, commercialization

    Rcrwireless.com - Internet
    01.17 / 15:43 rcrwireless.com
    Founded in the December 2015, the MulteFire Alliance today announced the completion of its Release 1.0 specification for the technology, which allows for LTE connectivity without the need for costly licensed spectrum. Building on 3GPP Release 13 and 14, particularly advancements in License Assisted Access (LAA), enhanced LAA (eLAA) and carrier aggregation, MulteFire does not [...] The post MulteFire Release 1.0 spec complete; focus shifts to trials, commercialization appeared first on RCR…
  16. Nintendo Switch: One last roll of the dice – Ars Technica

    Internetdo.com - Internet
    01.17 / 15:18 internetdo.com
    Mark Walton In 2016, just 10 Wii U games were released at retail. Of those, two were Lego games, one was Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the other was downright terrible (not to mention cross platform). Of the three Nintendo-made games released, only Twilight Princess HD—a slick port of 10-year-old […] The post Nintendo Switch: One last roll of the dice – Ars Technica appeared first on Internet Do. [ Please, visit website http://internetdo.com ] …
  17. Rochester spruces up public housing with $410,000 facelift

    Blogs.democratandchronicle.com - Internet
    A four-plex not far from the Public Market is where the Rochester Housing Authority hopes to start changing …
  18. Containerized And Modular Data Center: Market Trends, Drivers, And Forecast From Technavio

    Hostreview.com - Internet
    01.17 / 14:16 hostreview.com
    Technavio market research analysts forecast the global containerized and modular data center market to grow at a CAGR of more than 12% during the forecast period, according to their latest…
  19. Google Algorithm Update On January 16th, MLK Day?

    Seroundtable.com - Internet
    01.17 / 13:47 seroundtable.com
    Yesterday was a US holiday, so overall there was less people working, searching and buying online. But... …
  20. Veeam Announces Record 2016 Results: 28 Percent Year-Over-Year Growth And $607 Million In Total Revenue Bookings

    Hostreview.com - Internet
    01.17 / 13:39 hostreview.com
    Veeamamp;reg; Software,amp;nbsp;the innovative provider of solutions that deliveramp;nbsp;Availability for the Always-On Enterpriseamp;trade;, today announced record results for Q4 2016 and FY 2016: 28 percent YoY growth and $607.4M in total revenue bookings, fueled by accelerated enterprise and cloud revenues which were driven by the critical need for enterprises of all sizes to ensure they are available 24.7.365 in the Hybrid Cloud…