Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Bottom line: The Internet Archive is safe to use.
Internet Archive has always been interested in protecting the privacy of our patrons. We try not to record IP addresses, and when Edward Snowden showed that traffic going over the open Internet was not safe from government spying we turned on encryption by default on our web services. Unfortunately, some of the encryption software we use (along with more than half the sites on the internet) was vulnerable due to the “Heartbleed” bug; we have upgraded our software to fix this issue.
A bit more detail: A common piece of code, OpenSSL, was revealed to have a security bug that allowed anyone on the Internet to probe a vulnerable server and read a set of information that happens to be in RAM in that remote process. This could be used to read a site’s “private key” which would allow a bad actor that could intercept traffic to impersonate a website via what is called a “man in the middle” attack. If a site’s past encrypted traffic had been recorded, then it might be possible to go back now with the private key and see what happened in those past web sessions. If you would like a more thorough explanation of “Heartbleed” you can watch a video overview.
Some of the Internet Archive’s web services did use the vulnerable version of OpenSSL up until yesterday. At this point the Internet Archive’s services have been upgraded and we will be renewing our private key in case that was compromised. On some of our services we have used “perfect forward secrecy” so even if our private key had been taken, and someone had recorded past traffic, and if they cared enough to try to then discover what had been read, they would still not be able to get it. We will be implementing this on all services in the future.
Never a dull day!
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
6:30 pm Reception
7:30 pm Film
300 Funston Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Join film archivist Rick Prelinger for the first-ever East Bay-focused presentation in his lauded series of ‘Lost Landscapes’ screenings: a montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing the Oakland of yore, captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen, and industrial filmmakers. Prelinger, the founder of the legendary Prelinger Archives and guest curator for the exhibition Bay Motion: Capturing San Francisco Bay on Film, has become known for annual ‘Lost Landscapes’ screenings that have happened in San Francisco and Detroit. This program combines eclectic content with vibrant discussion and audience participation.
Please come early to reserve your seat. Seating is limited and available on a first-come first serve basis.
On Monday, March 10, the Internet Archive and the American Library Association with the assistance of the law firm Goodwin Proctor filed a “friend of the court” brief in David Leon Riley v. State of California and United States v. Brima Wurie, two Supreme Court cases examining the constitutionality of cell phone searches after police arrests. In the amicus brief, both nonprofit organizations argue that warrantless cell phone searches violate privacy principles protected by the Fourth Amendment.
Both cases began when police officers searched the cell phones of defendants Riley and Wurie without obtaining a warrant. The searches recovered texts, videos, photos, and telephone numbers that were later used as evidence. The Supreme Court of California found the cell phone search lawful in Riley’s case, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Boston, reached the opposite conclusion and reversed Wurie’s conviction.
In the brief, the Internet Archive and the American Library Association argue that reading choices are at the heart of the expectation of personal privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Allowing police officers to rummage through the smartphones of arrestees is akin to giving government officials permission to search a person’s entire library and reading history.
“Today’s cell phones are much more than simple dialing systems—they are mobile libraries, holding our books, photos, banking information, favorite websites and private conversations,” said Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association. “The Constitution does not give law enforcement free rein to search unlawfully through our private records.”
“The fact that technology has made it easy to carry voluminous sensitive and personal information in our pockets does not suddenly grant law enforcement unchecked availability to it in the case of an arrest,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of Internet Archive. “Constitutional checks are placed on the search of, for instance, a personal physical library and these checks should also apply to the comparably vast and personally sensitive stores of data held on our phones.”
William Jay, Goodwin Procter partner and counsel of record on the amicus brief, added: “The Supreme Court has recognized that people don’t lose all privacy under the Fourth Amendment when they’re arrested. And one of the strongest privacy interests is the right not to have the government peer at what you’re reading, without a good reason and a warrant. We are pleased to have the chance to represent both traditional and Internet libraries, which have a unique ability to show the Supreme Court why our electronic bookshelves deserve the same protection as our home bookshelves.”
“In my experience as a former federal prosecutor, a person’s smartphone is one of the things law enforcement are most eager to search after an arrest,” said Goodwin Procter partner Grant Fondo, a co-author of the brief. “This is because it holds so many different types of important personal information, telling law enforcement what the arrested person has been doing over the past few weeks, months, and even years—who they have been in contact with, what they read, and where they have been. Simply because this information is now all contained in a small smartphone we carry with us, rather than at home, should not take the search of this information outside the scope of one of our most important Constitutional protections—the right to protection from warrantless searches.”
Internet Archive would like to heartily thank William Jay, Grant Fondo, and Goodwin Proctor for helping introduce an important library perspective as the Court considers these two cases with critical implications for civil liberties.
The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, launched in 2001, was named after Mr. Peabody’s WABAC machine from the 1960s cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle. This Friday we are going to celebrate our own time travel machine by going to see a movie about the original.
“Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time.” (see imdb page)
While tracking down your old Geocities page may not have world-changing consequences, we still think it’s pretty cool.
Please join us for dinner and a movie!
March 7, 2014
Dinner at 5pm
300 Funston Ave
San Francisco, CA 94121
Depart for movie around 6:15 for a 7pm show time at AMC Van Ness.
The Internet Archive continues its goal of bringing the same experience of older software that we have with movies, books and audio. This newest collection, just in time for Valentine’s Day (?), is called The Business Case, and is a continually-growing exhibit of business-related software.
Unlike the previous announced collection of entertainment software (the Console Living Room), these programs are all aimed at the early days of home computer ownership, when the reason for spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on these systems wasn’t always very clear cut. Why drop a significant amount of money for something that beeped and made pretty pictures (or not even pretty pictures)? Well, one reason might be to write, calculate and track financial and business information, as well as utilize word processors for faster correspondence.
Some important facts about browsing and using this collection.
Unlike the Console Living Room, a lot of these programs are not self-evident. They had complicated instructions, and often utilized massive manuals and accompanying documentation, which is not available for many of the items. Others required the use of a modem or printer, which the emulator at archive.org does not currently provide – they will fail out or give errors if you try and use them.
Additionally, some of these programs are “cracks”, cases where the original floppy disks of the programs have been modified to allow for easier booting, or copying. We included them to bring into sharp focus a real problem: software preservation for the computer programs not lucky enough to be games or famous is spotty at best and non-existent at worst. While the world has thousands of pages dedicated to the history of Pac-Man and Doom (many of them archived in the Wayback Machine), in some cases, the only evidence online that a program ever existed is the modified-for-copying version of a spreadsheet application. In an ideal world, the academic researcher or curious onlooker could experience and understand the context of every program released, or at least get an analogue of the experience. In many cases, this just isn’t possible.
Where we can, we will expand and grow this collection, as well as improve and update the entries already in the collection to reflect the part they played in history. If you are familiar with a given program, or can provide more information, contact Jason Scott at the archive.
The Internet Archive is headquartered in a building that used to be a Christian Science church. The great room includes a gorgeous stained glass dome, a pipe organ, and graceful wooden pews. We seat 400+ people in this space to show movies and to host conferences on a regular basis.
The room is beautiful, but those pews are hard on the posterior if you plan to sit there for more than 15 minutes at a time.
So we came up with a plan – let’s make some cushions! That sounds simple enough, but we are thrifty people.
We are taking old T-shirts and recycling them into cushion covers. We are looking for T-shirts from non-profits or from tech companies in particular, but we’ll take whatever you’ve got. Any size, any color, just as long as there aren’t holes in the fabric or big stains that may discourage people from sitting on that cushion.
This is where you come in! Which one of us doesn’t have a bunch of old corporate swag T-shirts sitting in the back of our closet taking up space? If you’re willing to part with those useless shirts, we’re willing to put them to use.
Drop off your shirts in person, or send your shirts to:
300 Funston Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118
Have questions? Email email@example.com.
Volunteers needed: We have a fabulous TV collection, and the US is going into an election period. We would like to pull out the TV Commercials, including the political ads, and match them with the other occurrences, and then put names on them. Then we and others can datamine and surface this information.
We hope we could find all ads so we can know when and were they ran. We would like to not just limit this to political ads because sometimes the ads are the best parts of shows, and many ads are stealthy-political.
To help in this process, we have closed caption transcripts of what is said in US TV as well as full resolution TV recordings. We also often have a rebroadcast of the same program which would likely then have different commercials. We do have to be careful with this data so, we would like to run this locally in our virtual machine “virtual reading room“.
We tried the open source commercial detector included in MythTV, but it seemed to leave all the commercials in a commercial break in a block. Also it was not that reliable. It needs more work.
This is not an easy project, and do not have a budget (yet) to pay for it, unfortunately, so maybe fame and helping the open world. If you can help in this project, we would appreciate it.
Please leave a comment on this post or send a note to Roger Macdonald, the leader of the TV News project.
Last year a group of inspired digital residents created fantastic tumblr’s using the things they found interesting in the Internet Archive. We’re proud to unveil these projects, one per week, throughout the year. They’ll each be posted at the Internet Archive tumblr and then be accessible at their own URL once posted. Follow the IA tumblr to see them as the project rolls onward!
So far, we’ve seen two projects posted.
This week’s project, A History of Linux Websites, by Steven Ovadia, traces the history of Linux through the screenshots of the web sites of Linux distributions and projects. Looking at the screenshots gives viewers insights not just into the various histories of the various distributions, but also provides insight into the web design aesthetics that guide these distributions. In many cases, the design aesthetic of the web site does not match up against the philosophy of the distribution, making for an interesting tension.
The first, Most Frequent Word Search by Jeff Thompson, is an algorithmic-curatorial project which uses the 250 most-frequent unique words in the oldest text with a date listed in Project Gutenberg – “Old Mortality, Volume 2″ by Sir Walter Scott. Each word is used as a seed for a new search into the Archive. The most common word in the resulting text is used as a new search term. The process is repeated until the search returns no results. The project features a unique original theme with click and drag functionality, allowing users to aesthetically arrange the computationally generated and randomly displayed results, if they wish to attempt to seek their own patterns.
We hope you’re as excited as we are to see each project completed and unveiled after months of hard work by our digital residents. We’ll see you at internetarchive.tumblr.com!
Thank you to Ian Aleksander Adams for making this happen.
It’s Copyright Week, and many organizations are highlighting the need to make works in the public domain readily accessible. One of the many challenges we face sounds almost paradoxical: works in the public domain are often not publicly available. The Internet Archive hosts several projects to address that concern.
RECAP: Created by Aaron Swartz and automated by a group at Princeton University, RECAP brings free access to some two million court documents from a million cases.
Google Books: Aaron Swartz collected 900,000 public domain books on Google’s site; we’re currently adding more.
Digitization of Public Domain Books: The Internet Archive works with over 500 libraries to digitize public domain books to offer them to the world for free with no restrictions at all. We’re grateful to the libraries that are funding this amazing resource.
Fedflix: This joint venture between the National Technical Information Service and Public.Resource.Org provides free access to 8,700 U.S. government training and historical films such as the film below, Blast Measurement Group in Operation Sandstone.