Arweave + Internet Archive: Building a verifiable record of history
Today we are excited to share a new Arweave initiative supporting the vital work of the Internet Archive, the non-profit organisation behind the famous Wayback Machine project. We are utilising the unique features of the Arweave network to ensure cryptographically verifiable and fault tolerant access to the Internet Archive’s data.
Information integrity is one of the most important aspects of archiving. It is essential that historians are able to trust that the data held within an archive has not been modified (either maliciously or by accident) during the time in which it has been stored. Typically, historians look to cross-validate sources found in archives, as well as investigate the archive’s history and reputation to ensure that the information remains unchanged.
The Arweave network provides a fundamental leap forward for trust in archiving. By using mathematics, cryptography, and distributed systems, the Arweave network is able to provide verifiable timestamps for the data held in the network.
The core Arweave team is archiving torrents of Internet Archive data collections onto the Arweave network. Although the archive data itself is not stored on the Arweave network (yet), these torrents enable distributed (but not decentralised) access to the information held in the Internet Archive.
By combining the Arweave’s tamper-resistance and verifiability properties to storage of Internet Archive metadata (in the form of torrent files), we will allow future historians to ensure the archive’s records have not been tampered with over time.
To learn more about the partnership between Arweave and the Internet Archive, make sure to listen to this Andreessen Horowitz Podcast interview with Brewster Kahle and Sam Williams, and read the recent coverage from The Block.
See you on the permaweb!