THE INTERNET ARCHIVE - or The Wayback Machine/Archive.org to its friends - has been hit by a huge tranche of takedown orders from the French authorities using the Europol net monitoring unit, claiming the site is riddled with terrorist content.
It's hard to believe that Archive.org would be wannabe terrorists' first port of call when looking for inspiration, seeing as it's more a nerdy library of internet pages past than something you'd browse recreationally, but there we are.
In a pretty peeved-sounding blog post, Archive.org's Chris Butler recounted how it had received over 550 take-down requests with an order to respond within just one hour - a request that as well as being ludicrous on its own terms, was even harder to do in the middle of the night when the site managers were asleep.
"It is not possible for us to process these reports using human review within a very limited timeframe like one hour," Butler wrote. "Are we to simply take what's reported as ‘terrorism' at face value and risk the automatic removal of things like THE primary collection page for all books on archive.org?"
Uh, yes, that's probably what the French authorities were hoping for. Good on Archive.org, though: they haven't.
"It would be bad enough if the mistaken URLs in these examples were for a set of relatively obscure items on our site," Butler continued, "but the French IRU's lists include some of the most visited pages on archive.org and materials that obviously have high scholarly and research value."
It's almost like governmental departments have an approach to security like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. Who'd have thought it? µ
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