GADGETS

The ‘Wayforward Machine’ online archive paints a dark future for the web


It marks its 25th anniversary by peering into the future to predict what the web might look like a quarter of a century from now. The non-profit organization took the opportunity to oppose Internet regulation by offering a dark vision of what lies ahead.

Type the URL into and you’ll see a pop-up version of that page. The messages include one that reads “Classified Content. The website you are trying to access contains information about information that the owners have chosen to restrict to users who have not shared their personal information.” The second reads: “This website contains information that is currently classified as a crime devised in your region.”

As things unfold, according to the Internet archives, free and open access to knowledge on the web could become far more limited. Wayforward includes a timeline of things that could go wrong in the coming years, starting with the Communications Decency Act, which from liability for things users post. The repeal could have huge consequences on the web, although some, like them, have suggested that the provision be reformed.

The time frame includes some other insane but not unimaginable proposals, such as a law that allows corporations to establish copyright facts, forcing Wikipedia to move to the Dark Web, and more countries introducing their own versions. The Internet Archive has partnered with several digital rights organizations for the project, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future and the Wikimedia Foundation. The subsite includes resources on how to help protect freely available information.

Wayforward Machine is, of course, a satirical version, which has archived hundreds of billions of websites in the last two and a half decades. It is an important resource for preserving the history of the Internet, including things like, so it is worth paying attention to the vision of the future of the Internet archive.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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