Imagine a future without access to knowledge...
Together, we can find a better way forward
On the 25th anniversary of the Internet Archive, we’re looking forward to the year 2046. Will we have access to trustworthy information online? Will knowledge be free and open?
The future depends on us.
Access to good information is not a given. If you value it, you have to protect it.
Here’s what you can do:
Learn about the threats against free, open access to knowledge:
JIGSAW: When the internet is shut down, more than a connection is lost in the dark
Government-imposed internet shutdowns are on the rise globally, with devastating impacts on affected communities. Fighting back requires shining a light where governments impose the dark.Read more
PROTOCOL: The Internet is Splitting Apart. The Internet Archive Wants to Save it all Forever
The so-called balkanization of the internet isn't just a theoretical problem for the Internet Archive. If internet firewalls stay up in China, Iran and Russia, new content continues to move mostly behind paywalls and passwords, and U.S. political leaders decide it's finally time for Section 230 to go, the crawlers whose simple formulas have preserved the last few decades for future historians might not do the same...Read more
Splinternet: How geopolitics and commerce are fragmenting the World Wide Web
There’s always been something universalizing about the Internet. The World Wide Web has seemed both inherently singular and global, a sort of ethereal United Nations. But today, as Scott Malcomson contends in this concise, brilliant investigation, the Internet is cracking apart into discrete groups no longer willing, or able, to connect. The implications of this shift are momentous.Read more
WITNESS: Prepare, Don’t Panic: Synthetic Media and Deepfakes
This project focuses around the emerging and potential malicious uses of so-called “deepfakes” and other forms of AI-generated “synthetic media” and how we push back to defend evidence, the truth and freedom of expression from a global, human rights-led perspective.Read more
The Atlantic: The Internet is Rotting
"Too much has been lost already. The glue that holds humanity’s knowledge together is coming undone." Jonathan Zittrain writes, "It turns out that link rot and content drift are endemic to the web, which is both unsurprising and shockingly risky for a library that has 'billions of books and no central filing system.'"Read more
MOZILLA: 2020 Internet Health Report
In a challenging year for the world, the internet helped us and harmed us like never before. In the 2020 Internet Health Report, Mozilla asks over 100 people who care deeply about internet health to share their expertise on what can be done to make the internet healthier. They have compiled a list of 100 healthy and 100 unhealthy moments of 2020.Read more
THE LONG NOW: Vision - Wikipedia and the Future of Free Culture/ Jimmy Wales
Vision is one of the most powerful forms of long-term thinking. Jimmy Wales, founder and president of the all-embracing online encyclopedia Wikipedia, examines how vision drives and defines that project and its strategy— and how it fits into the even larger world and prospects of “free culture.” “The design of Wikipedia,” said its founder and president Jimmy Wales, “is the design of community.”Read more
ACCESS NOW: Shattered dreams and lost opportunities: a year in the fight to #KeepItOn.
The past few years have seen the rise of a trend that is eroding democracy: internet shutdowns during elections. These intentional disruptions, usually ordered by a government actor, vary from total blackouts to targeting specific networks or services like WhatsApp and Twitter.Read more
CURRENT AFFAIRS: The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free
What does it mean for society when the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Financial Times all have paywalls, while Breitbart, Fox News, the Washington Examiner, and InfoWars are an easy click away? Nathan J. Robinson writes, "it costs time and money to access a lot of true and important information, while a lot of bullshit is completely free."Read more
BROOKINGS: What does the day after Section 230 reform look like?
The day after Section 230 is repealed or reduced is likely to be chaotic. Users and platforms will confront uncertainty about what is permissible, and both sides are likely to test those boundaries, for both must-carry and must-remove questions around content.Read more
WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION: Wikipedia needs local journalism and the open Web — we all should support both
Over the past couple of months, many who are interested in internet policy have been watching developments in Australia, where a proposed Mandatory Bargaining Code will force some internet platforms to pay for linking to content by news publishers and displaying snippets thereof...Read more
ENDGADGET: Apple accused of giving Chinese government control over local data
Operating in China requires foreign tech companies to submit to the government's strict censorship and cybersecurity laws. Just ask Apple. The iPhone maker has been reproached by civil rights activists over its compliance with the country's convoluted rules that target dissent.Read more
MAKE INNOVATION WORK: Unplugging the Global Internet: Opportunity or Threat?
Autocratic countries, i.e. China, Iran and now Russia, have started a trend of partitioning, firewalling their internet from the WWW. What does this mean for the future?Read more
WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION: Why we must all support policy that keeps the internet open and accessible
The internet is in a moment of change, a testing of the boundaries of the free exchange of information & ideas. In the past year, we have seen increased concern about what information is available on social media and online, & how videos, images and stories are being shared more quickly & with wider audiences than has previously been possible.Read more
MOZILLA: 2021: The year privacy went mainstream
Over the last 18 months, events have conspired to accelerate this shift in public attitudes towards privacy from a niche concern to something much more fundamental and mainstream. In the process, more people also began to see how privacy and security are inextricably linked.Read more
THE LONG NOW: David Eagleman - Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization
Civilizations always think they're immortal, David Eagleman noted, but they nearly always perish, leaving "nothing but ruins and scattered genetics." It takes luck and new technology to survive. The noted neuroscientist shares six requirements of a durable civilization.Read more
Burning the books: A history of the deliberate destruction of knowledge by Richard Ovenden
Opening with the notorious bonfires of "un-German" and Jewish literature in 1933 that offered such a clear signal of Nazi intentions, "Burning the Books" takes us on a 3000-year journey through the destruction of knowledge and the fight against all the odds to preserve it.Read more
Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow
Most days, Masha Maximow was sure she'd chosen the winning side. In her day job as a counterterrorism wizard for an transnational cybersecurity firm, she made the hacks that allowed repressive regimes to spy on dissidents, and manipulate their every move. The perks were fantastic, and the pay was obscene.Read more
WALLED CULTURE: Yet another move to funnel money to big copyright companies, not struggling creators
One of the cleverest moves by the copyright industry was to claim to speak for the very people it exploits must brutally. This allows its lobbyists to paint a refusal to extend copyright, or to make its enforcement harsher, as spitting in the face of struggling artists.Read more
WITNESS: Activist's Guide to Archiving Video
WITNESS has created a 101 guide on how to create, transfer, organize, index, store, preserve and share human rights video content.Read more
POLITICO: More Money and Fewer Readers: The Paradox of Subscriber Journalism
In a media world increasingly dominated by subscriptions, the money is flowing but very unevenly.Read more
THE NATION: Publishers Are Taking the Internet to Court
In a lawsuit against the Internet Archive, the largest corporations in publishing want to change what it means to own a book.Read more
FUTURISM: The World of the Future will Have Two Internets, Former Google CEO Predicts
In the coming decades, Google CEO Eric Schmidt suspects there will be two major internets out there — the one we know and love/hate, and a new, more heavily-censored one built by the Chinese government.Read more
HUFFPOST: The World Without Libraries: A Speculation
Here is my fear: That one day a grandfather will address his grandchildren from three time zones away. The children will circle around the screen from which his image is broadcast. He will announce that he is telling them a story about a very old institution, an institution that distributed books for free as long as visitors committed to one thing: promised to bring them back.Read more
THE LONG NOW: Cory Doctorow - The Coming Century of War Against Your Computer
The core issues for author & EFF Fellow, Cory Doctorow, come down to Human Rights versus Property Rights, Lockdown versus Certainty, and Owners versus mere Users. "The potential for abuse in the computer world is large," Doctorow concluded. "It will keep getting larger."Read more
Imagining Dystopia: IA2046
How could these threats escalate into a dystopian future? We've got three tools to help you imagine 2046.
Search the Future with the Wayforward Machine
Everyone loves the Wayback Machine, right? A search engine of 588 billion web pages taking you through 25 years of Internet history.
But what will the Internet look like 25 years from now? Try out the Wayforward Machine, over and over, to see different possibilities.Wayforward Machine
Explore our interactive timeline
Time travel to 2046 on Twitter
Imagining utopia: #EmpoweringLibraries
We can find a better way forward.
The Internet Archive is facing a lawsuit by a cartel of corporate publishers that threatens the age-old right of libraries to buy, preserve and lend materials to the public.
To fight for a world where libraries and learners are empowered through access to information, join our #EmpoweringLibraries campaign.Find out more