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Britain's Conservatives Scrub Speeches from the Internet

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the history-is-no-more dept.

United Kingdom 234

An anonymous reader writes news of an attempt to erase a bit of history. From the article: "The Conservative Party have attempted to delete all their speeches and press releases online from the past 10 years, including one in which David Cameron promises to use the Internet to make politicians 'more accountable'. The Tory party have deleted the backlog of speeches from the main website and the Internet Archive — which aims to make a permanent record of websites and their content — between 2000 and May 2010."

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234 comments

Where's the torrent file? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414507)

Where's the torrent file?

Re:Where's the torrent file? (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 months ago | (#45415369)

I dunno, but I'm guessing none of these politicians have ever heard of the Streisand Effect.

Archive.org should not respect robots.txt (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414531)

People have used robots.txt to buy up domains they want to censor.

For example, this happened with partyvan.

Re:Archive.org should not respect robots.txt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414787)

People have used robots.txt to buy up domains they want to censor.

How do you use robots.txt to buy domains?

Re:Archive.org should not respect robots.txt (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415017)

He misspoke. He meant to say they bought up domains and then used robots.txt to subsequently censor the site (including all older content)

Re:Archive.org should not respect robots.txt (3, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 5 months ago | (#45415231)

Of course, as a robot, archive.org should respect robots.txt. I have a website with millions of files of data that archive.org has no reason to keep for me, all behind a robots.txt that bars such nonsense.

I also have a link to a realtime predicted tide generator which takes about 30 seconds to calculate the information it sends back. Before I hacked in a robots.txt to cover it (it's on a different port than the normal web server and thus, according to the robot operators, a completely different website than the one that already had a robots.txt to stop them) one "helpful" robot indexer latched onto it and was sending ten requests per minute. Nice of them to throttle themselves, yeah, when they were running my apache server up to the connection limit (keeping other people from using the site) and driving the load up so the site was useless for anyone local.

So any suggestion that any robot operator ignore robots.txt should be shouted down as the complete nonsense it is.

People have used robots.txt to buy up domains they want to censor.

You can't buy a domain with a robots.txt. Once you own the domain, you have the right to "censor" it all you want, including the use of a robots.txt that bars all robots. But if your goal was to "censor" a website, just stop running an HTTP server. That's much better than any robots.txt in keeping everyone from getting your stuff.

Re:Archive.org should not respect robots.txt (4, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#45415355)

As I understand it, Archive.org uses robots.txt to censor old, already captured data. That's a serious flaw in an archive IMO.

Re:Archive.org should not respect robots.txt (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#45415463)

When robots.txt is used for censorship, it no longer deserves any respect. I hope more people decide to ignore them. We should never let other people decide what we can see and hear. For the time being we can store stuff locally and employ P2P.

Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the archive (2)

spiritplumber (1944222) | about 5 months ago | (#45414535)

How did they delete them from archive.org? Did they hack it?

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (5, Insightful)

uncle slacky (1125953) | about 5 months ago | (#45414651)

No, but the Wayback Machine always respects takedown requests. Note that the British Library maintains an archive of UK sites, and still has the speeches in question (from April 2008 onwards):http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20080410100951/http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=news.speeches.page [webarchive.org.uk]

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (5, Informative)

LocalH (28506) | about 5 months ago | (#45414697)

It's not even a takedown request. IA will honor robots.txt totally and retroactively - if they have 10-15 years of archived data at a specific domain (or subdirectory on that domain), and someone puts up a robots.txt disallowing them access, not only will they refuse to archive it going forward, but they will remove all previously archived material from being viewable (I hope they don't actively remove it from their archive, but merely stop making it available).

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 5 months ago | (#45414949)

Indeed this is ridiculous that the IA would retroactively remove stuff though as you say hopefully just disable access instead. Even then, why would they keep stuff they aren't displaying? It's an 'archive' and should reflect how stuff 'was' at the time; legalities of that obviously being quite murky and hard to defend against expensive lawsuits, but still.

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (1)

LocalH (28506) | about 5 months ago | (#45415267)

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they have a lot of stuff that isn't publicly available on their website for one reason or another. Don't have a citation though.

Only partially. (Also a wishlist.) (5, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 5 months ago | (#45415291)

Indeed this is ridiculous that the IA would retroactively remove stuff though as you say hopefully just disable access instead.

I think the archive actually does just suppress access rather than purge the actual data, so they can again display it once copyright runs out (if it ever does...).

I also think the point is that newbies may not know about robots.txt and that even an experienced webmaster might accidentally allow access to something private long enough for it to get archived, or receive and honor a takedown notice, so this allows the correction of the error.

It's an 'archive' and should reflect how stuff 'was' at the time; legalities of that obviously being quite murky and hard to defend against expensive lawsuits, but still.

That's why. They have limited funds and need them to buy more disks and stuff, not fight lawsuits. If the choice is not display some stuff or go broke and not display anything, the choice is also obvious.

I wish, though, that they were able to detect when a domain changed hands and not honor robots.txt requests retroactively past the boundary. IMHO a new owner is a new web site that happens to have the same name.

Especially: I wish domain name parking sites didn't put up robots.txt files that cause the archive to immediately purge/hide the previous owners' content. I've lost access to a lot of content from dead sites that way. (It also keeps the owners from rescuing their old content if they don't have personal backups.)

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (1)

Zedrick (764028) | about 5 months ago | (#45415127)

That really sucks. And explains why I've not been able to find older versions of my own websites.

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (2)

LocalH (28506) | about 5 months ago | (#45415253)

It fully explains it. Someone bought up the domain that you were hosted on previously, added a blanket disallow in robots.txt, and suddenly all your old stuff is gone.

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (1)

Zedrick (764028) | about 5 months ago | (#45415443)

No, I added the robots.txt myself :-\

The domains are still mine, just took them with me to the different webhosts I've been working for.

OTOH, nothing of value has been lost, just wanted to know exactly what I wrote about Seven of Nine 13 years ago.

Re: Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arc (2)

iamhassi (659463) | about 5 months ago | (#45415483)

Not much of an archive if they delete the past because someone says it should be deleted. Even Wikipedia allows you to go back and see all changes to an article.

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (1)

Bohnanza (523456) | about 5 months ago | (#45415001)

Sounds like somebody needs to archive the archive.

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415163)

Sounds like somebody needs to archive the archive.

Ah yes, but then will need an archive to archive all the archives that are not archived in the archive. Are you starting to see the problem?

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (2)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 5 months ago | (#45415097)

So there's no actual internet archive? How was this not planned for years ago?

robots.txt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414707)

Archive.org will retroactively enforce a new robots.txt to all previously archived content.

This has been used by people who buy up domains targeted for censorship. This has happened to partyvan, for example, when it expired and bought up and turned into a honeypot for watching 4channers and Anons. When this happened a new robots.txt was put in place and all of partyvan's history was deleted from archive.org.

Someone else put a backup of partyvan up on github in response.

Re:robots.txt (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45414805)

If A clearly and deliberately causes B, then there's nothing misleading about saying that someone chose B to happen when they elect to effect A.

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (1)

Arthur Dent '99 (226844) | about 5 months ago | (#45414757)

The post is misleading. The Conservative website now has a "robots.txt" file which is designed to prevent search engines like the Internet Archive from archiving current and future content. They did not delete previously archived content from the Internet Archive.

Basically, the robots.txt convention is based on politeness. It merely lists directories and files which "honest" search engines agree to not search through. There's nothing actually stopping anyone from ignoring these requests and searching those "disallowed" directories anyway.

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (5, Informative)

Arthur Dent '99 (226844) | about 5 months ago | (#45415023)

I apologize for my mistake. Until just a few minutes ago, I was unaware that the Internet Archive agrees to RETROACTIVELY honor a robots.txt file. So once a robots.txt file restricts access to content, they voluntarily remove access to previously archived content from the archive. Here's the related item from their FAQ [archive.org]:


Some sites are not available because of robots.txt or other exclusions. What does that mean?

The Internet Archive follows the Oakland Archive Policy for Managing Removal Requests And Preserving Archival Integrity

The Standard for Robot Exclusion (SRE) is a means by which web site owners can instruct automated systems not to crawl their sites. Web site owners can specify files or directories that are disallowed from a crawl, and they can even create specific rules for different automated crawlers. All of this information is contained in a file called robots.txt. While robots.txt has been adopted as the universal standard for robot exclusion, compliance with robots.txt is strictly voluntary. In fact most web sites do not have a robots.txt file, and many web crawlers are not programmed to obey the instructions anyway. However, Alexa Internet, the company that crawls the web for the Internet Archive, does respect robots.txt instructions, and even does so retroactively. If a web site owner decides he / she prefers not to have a web crawler visiting his / her files and sets up robots.txt on the site, the Alexa crawlers will stop visiting those files and will make unavailable all files previously gathered from that site. This means that sometimes, while using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, you may find a site that is unavailable due to robots.txt (you will see a "robots.txt query exclusion error" message). Sometimes a web site owner will contact us directly and ask us to stop crawling or archiving a site, and we endeavor to comply with these requests. When you come accross a "blocked site error" message, that means that a siteowner has made such a request and it has been honored.

Currently there is no way to exclude only a portion of a site, or to exclude archiving a site for a particular time period only.

When a URL has been excluded at direct owner request from being archived, that exclusion is retroactive and permanent.

Re:Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of the arch (5, Interesting)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 5 months ago | (#45415047)

couple that with the google cached copy of the site has a 'search for speeches' section which now is, interestingly enough, missing as well.

Just taking after Obama (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414537)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/26/obama-whistleblower-website_n_3658815.html

Lol! Good luck with that (1)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | about 5 months ago | (#45414539)

Google cache etc will ensure every public speech made since the late '90s is kept forever and many made before that will also be indelibly etched into history.

Re:Lol! Good luck with that (2)

x0ra (1249540) | about 5 months ago | (#45414621)

The White House and its UK equivalent has unfortunately enough power to order Google to "forget" about this as well.

Re:Lol! Good luck with that (1, Interesting)

game kid (805301) | about 5 months ago | (#45414783)

Lol indeed. When Google aren't being ordered by the NSA (and by extension GCHQ and their political friends) to work for them, they volunteer outright. Enjoy the cache while it lasts and while they allow it, because they'll consider either an oversight.

Re:Lol! Good luck with that (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 5 months ago | (#45414995)

Until google cancels the public facing aspect of the cache (ie reader, iGoogle, etc).

Re:Lol! Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415189)

Google deletes their cache periodically.

The Internet is for ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414543)

The Internet is for Orwell...

Appearently porn will have to take second place to political power...

Re:The Internet is for ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414885)

Mmm... Orwell porn...

And thus invoking the . . . (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about 5 months ago | (#45414549)

strei . . . you know what, screw it. Let them shoot themselves in the foot.

Re:And thus invoking the . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415125)

Yes, because they are so clueless that it would have taken *your* 15 word post on a site they don't know exists for them to realize they're making a mistake.

Re:And thus invoking the . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415269)

If one deliberately tries to invoke the Streisand Effect, it shouldn't kick-in.

Who cares what the conservatives said, say or will say? Nice try dudes.

Re:And thus invoking the . . . (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 5 months ago | (#45415373)

Them shooting themselves in the foot isn't all that amusing when the foot in question is on your neck.

Insert references to an Orwell work here (2)

themushroom (197365) | about 5 months ago | (#45414551)

Because that's what they did in that book.

Re: Insert references to an Orwell work here (3, Interesting)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 5 months ago | (#45414625)

The main character's job was "correcting" stored historical documents to match what was being said "right now".

The reasoning why their government must keep EVERYTHING on private people, but can obstruct and hide PUBLICLY OFFERED documents has to be really really funny!

Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (5, Funny)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about 5 months ago | (#45414567)

Lucky they now have secret blacklists at every major UK ISP to block these. Think of the children that would be harmed by reading these speeches!

FTFA:

In a remarkable step the party has also blocked access to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, a San-Francisco-based library which captures webpages for future generations, using a software robot that directs search engines not to access the pages.

Re:Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#45415109)

I thought the point was to stop crawlers from getting stuck following generated links to infinity, creating large numbers of virtual pages that would rarely if ever be instantiated, wasting the web site's resources.

Clearly using it to retroactively delete should now be revisited, at least by archive sites.

BTW, I am sure he NSA's archive crawler does not honor the robots hing.

Re:Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 5 months ago | (#45415335)

BTW, I am sure he NSA's archive crawler does not honor the robots hing.

As a website operator who carefully watches connection counts and has a robots.txt to exclude most of the site content, I am pretty sure there is no "NSA's archive crawler" visiting, at least none with any frequency that it matters.

Re:Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415475)

You didn't know...??? They got your data even before it hit your server. You never knew it happened.

And let's not forget why: (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45414571)

because they broke almost all of their pre-election promises.

The most important thing to learn about the Tory party in the UK is that, contrary to popular opinion, it is not the party for the responsible, the capitalists, nor the hard-working (except in the sense that they want most people to work hard for them). It is a party representing a few wealthy individuals, and their mission is not small government, but privatised government, where nothing happens without their masters getting a cut.

Sorta like a mafia.

Re:And let's not forget why: (4, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | about 5 months ago | (#45414671)

because they broke almost all of their pre-election promises.

When was the last time a political party (or even an individual politician) did anything else?

Re:And let's not forget why: (3, Informative)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45414747)

There have been more ideologically-oriented governments, from post-War Labour to Thatcher.

They might not keep all their promises, and all ideologically is strongly diluted with practicality, but they're not the vacuous bunch of cunts we have in Britain today. (They're not that different from Blair, of course, but Blair had a more representative set of people to steer him.)

Re:And let's not forget why: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414831)

Conservatives are all the same - they're all telling Grandma " boo! a terrorist doctor might make you pay to give treatment to a black person for syphilis!"

Re:And let's not forget why: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415145)

If that is so, why even go through the bother of scrubbing their speeches from the internet? You see, they obviously want to claim they're different. And if the facts are too inconvenient to their cause, they'll create new facts and hope to recruit enough gullible, hard-working people to their cause. As I think has been stated before, political ideology is sort of like a mobius strip: the extreme left and right tend to meet. Of course, perhaps it's more like a klein bottle given the spectrum of individuality vs group authoritarianism, but the comments about 1984 or Animal Farm seem to well apply.

So, the real answer to your question is, they're different because they're the ones trying to scrub the past.

Re:And let's not forget why: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415481)

When was the last time a political party (or even an individual politician) did anything else?

When was the last time a politican prefaced every promise with "I will try to bring up" or some other such qualifier?

Re:And let's not forget why: (5, Insightful)

roninmagus (721889) | about 5 months ago | (#45415101)

The main issue that conservatives (at least in the US) have in their thought process (trust me, I am one) is that they believe "responsible," "capitalist," and "hard-working" actually leads one to become one of those few wealthy individuals.

Unfortunately this is usually not the case at all; the responsible, capitalist and hard-working ones only lead those wealthy few to become more wealthy.

This is a truth I think conservatives should realize and embrace, so that we can actually come up with real solutions to problems.

Re:And let's not forget why: (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 5 months ago | (#45415265)

The most important thing to learn about the $political_party_name party in the $local_country is that, contrary to popular opinion, it is not the party for $positively_framed_groups_and_associations. It is a party representing a few wealthy individuals, and their mission is not $claimed_mission, but !$claimed_mission, where nothing happens without their masters getting a cut.

Sorta like a mafia.

Sounds like pretty much every political party I know of once I FTFY.

Re:And let's not forget why: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415449)

because they broke almost all of their pre-election promises.

The most important thing to learn about the Tory party in the UK is that, contrary to popular opinion, it is not the party for the responsible, the capitalists, nor the hard-working (except in the sense that they want most people to work hard for them). It is a party representing a few wealthy individuals, and their mission is not small government, but privatised government, where nothing happens without their masters getting a cut.

Sorta like a mafia.

Meanwhile, "If you like your health insurance, you can keep it." [cbslocal.com]

Unless you're one of the one million Californians who are losing their insurance becaue of Obamacare.

And that LIE wasn't even a campaign promise - it was the statement of the President himself. REPEATED many times.

1984 (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 5 months ago | (#45414573)

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell, 1984

Re:1984 (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414799)

He who controls the spice controls the universe.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414905)

The spice is vital to space travel.... travel *without* moving! I OBE's baby.

The problem is career politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414951)

The problem is career politicians who accept campaign contributions and favors. Many people call them bribes. The problem is it corrupts politics and ultimately serves themselves, not the people.

We need term limits for US congress!

The only possible way to start getting out of this mess are Liberty Amendments!!! Check it out.

Re:The problem is career politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415087)

You realize that this is not a US story, right?

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415007)

The entire comments section should be removed from this space and a copy of 1984 put in its place.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415027)

Who controls the past now controls the future
Who controls the present now controls the past
Who controls the past now controls the future
Who controls the present now?

Rage Against the Machine, 1999

Why; Take a Lesson from Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414587)

Obama claims to know nothing about anything, so he has no accountability, and no one in his administration is responsible for anything.
So, take a lesson GB from the good ole US of A. No one's going to hold you accountable to anything you've said, or done for that matter.

Wrong (3, Informative)

symes (835608) | about 5 months ago | (#45414645)

This is not accurate. Speeches made in Parliament are archived in Hansard for a start. And there is no changing that.

Re:Wrong (3, Insightful)

game kid (805301) | about 5 months ago | (#45414913)

I like your optimism.

They'll find a way to close that to public access (except "on a need-to-know basis" and to Royal family members, staff, and "security" officials) too, as soon as they see how embarrassing (or criminal) parts of the archive may be. Clearly, they always find a way, however brutish [slashdot.org].

Re:Wrong (2, Informative)

EasyTarget (43516) | about 5 months ago | (#45415287)

Sigh.. 'Wrong in what way?

This was the archive of speeches, not just the parliamentary ones; but all the ones at election rallies and conferences too.

For instance; ToryBoy recently sat in a big gold chair and ate a 4 course meal along with all his rich chums in the Guildhall, London. He then stood in front of an gilded podium and made a speech [theguardian.com] in which he told all the little people that they had not worked hard enough and that austerity is now here to stay.

This speech is exactly the sort of one that will never appear on Hansard, and in a few years may well be the sort of thing Tory spinsters will hope to make 'disappear'.

History will be lost (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414657)

There's a theory out there that states that because most of what we do in the so-called Information Age is stored is somewhat fragile digital storage systems (as opposed to, for example, parchment) historians in the future will have very little to base their research on about our age, as most of the info will be permanently lost.
Well, hundreds of thousands of posts on BBS systems from the 80's and 90's are already gone, delete the Internet Archive and the Web is gone too, any thoughts?

Re:History will be lost (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about 5 months ago | (#45414715)

There's a theory out there that states that because most of what we do in the so-called Information Age is stored is somewhat fragile digital storage systems (as opposed to, for example, parchment) historians in the future will have very little to base their research on about our age, as most of the info will be permanently lost.
Well, hundreds of thousands of posts on BBS systems from the 80's and 90's are already gone, delete the Internet Archive and the Web is gone too, any thoughts?

An archive of the archive, operated in near-secret and kept in a Datacenter built into the side of a hollowed-out, dormant volcano... Or maybe TWO dormant volcanoes... You know, for redundancy.

Sharks with lasers on their heads optional, but recommended. Once "the last place" for evidence to be found becomes this place a great many people (including likely several large, powerful governments) will want to take control of it.

Re:History will be lost (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 5 months ago | (#45415193)

historians in the future will have very little to base their research on about our age

They'll base their research on what they've always based it on: The "official" records of the victors.

Re:History will be lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415431)

I had a great thought but ... I forgot it.

Oh hey look, twitter!

Deleted from the Internet Archive? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 5 months ago | (#45414677)

The Tory party have deleted the backlog of speeches from the main website and the Internet Archive — which aims to make a permanent record of websites and their content — between 2000 and May 2010"

How'd they do that? Do they make a copyright claim on the record of speeches they made in public?

Re:Deleted from the Internet Archive? (4, Informative)

flimflammer (956759) | about 5 months ago | (#45415095)

No, they put robots.txt on their website and the Internet Archive respects robots.txt retroactively. If they had 20 years worth of data archived from one domain, and someone puts a robots.txt on the domain, all 20 years worth of data is removed from the archive. Whether it's actually deleted or hidden is unknown, but I hope it isn't deleted.

they did it because... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 5 months ago | (#45414721)

they dont want to be called out on their broken promises and outright lies
call me Mister Obvious

Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414725)

Are they legally allowed to remove things from archives like that without any prior notification or permission?

Re:Is this legal? (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 5 months ago | (#45415121)

They didn't personally remove it or request it be removed. They simply added a robots.txt to their domain, and the Internet Archive retroactively removes content from the domain when it encounters robots.txt.

Re:Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415273)

I didn't murder him, I simply pulled the trigger and the bullet flew out from the end of the tube and struck him.

They put a robots.txt on their site that blocked Internet Archive. That is a request for it to be removed.

Re:Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415473)

Just adding a robots.txt file doesn't delete anything. Adding a robots.txt file that specifically says to not archive any of these files or directories is what causes the deletion. It's not like this was an innocent effect.

100 Years (3, Interesting)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 5 months ago | (#45414803)

We as humans are not able to "remember" back further than 100 years. I mean that you cannot get any information from anyone that would give you a clear, practical understanding of the mindset from 100 years ago. You can go ask your grandparent(s) things about the past, but the vocabulary that they use more than likely won't fit your vocabulary and therefor you will not be able to get the understanding that they're trying for. Maybe 100 years is to small, but it can't be far from the real number, plus it's nice and round ;)

In this way, our society(s) are going through life sorta like that movie Memento. All that has to happen is a slight variation of the real story, that would produce the same basic result, but with a new context - Christopher Columbus "discovered" America comes to mind. Perhaps the powers that be depend on this, and are looking to make that number (100 here) smaller.

Every bloody time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414811)

Every bloody time I see some inane web related thing being done by obvious technically impaired judgement here in Britain, it's associated with the same name. Point in case: David Cameron is a bloody idiot.

Not in the USA! (4, Insightful)

edibobb (113989) | about 5 months ago | (#45414847)

In the U.S., politicians post speeches full of lies online, and nobody cares. I'm not sure if this is because everybody believes the lies, or because nobody believes the politicians.

http://www.seattlepi.com/national/article/Rumsfeld-denies-making-claims-Iraq-had-WMDs-1202942.php [seattlepi.com]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU0m6Rxm9vU [youtube.com]

Re:Not in the USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415215)

It is because people can only talk about what is in the news, and they are the news and the news caster.

It is very hard to gauge how strong a political belief is in the US. A lot of land and a lot of people spread out across it. If people can find others that share the same voice before disillusionment kicks in, then we too can have larger political movements. There are so many small interest parties, that they drown out each other and cannibalize their efforts.

Taking a Page from Obama? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414849)

His first act as president was to seal all his personal records. Go ahead. Find an interview with an old classmate, or a paper he wrote in school. Try it.

Re:Taking a Page from Obama? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415141)

Is that actually supposed to be something easy to find as it is? I'd love to read some of my old papers from my school years! Is there some kind of big archive somewhere??

Newspaper print can't be deleted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45414923)

It's amazing that politicians want to delete their broken promises from the web so they can lie more effectively. Good thing there are libraries that keep old newspapers, and hopefully always will.

Re:Newspaper print can't be deleted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415317)

They'll burn all those books and newspapers.

standing by their words (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 5 months ago | (#45415139)

Students usualy want to hide F's. Don't want to look stupid.

Wonder what these conservatives are trying to hide? Not much point trying to hide their stupidity. Everyone already knows that about them.

Ask the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415233)

Surely, they have a copy somewhere.

1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415461)

Speeches deemed double plus un-good must be corrected.

He who controls the present (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415471)

controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future.

Captcha: Ruthless

The Press (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45415531)

This can only completed with the complicity of a corrupt Press. Which is not to say that all publishers have an activated altruism circuit. It only acknowledges the idealism promoted by those who believe the Press as a whole comprises a valuable institution.

Personally, I believe the future of history is imperiled more by the fragility and corruption in human political philosophies than by the impermanence of digital storage or the evolution of electronic storage media and formats.

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