Thursday, August 2, 2018

Block Chain Periodicals Archiving

Many of us older folks (some prefer "experienced") can remember when if you wanted to research anything you had to go to a library. There you could find books and periodicals on just about anything and as an example they had these things called microfiche. These microfiche readers would magnify a 105 x 148 mm piece of film that contained black and white text/images. As well there were many other forms of media to archive articles, books, and various documents.

The point I am trying to make in reminiscing, is these different medias could not be easily altered and would provide long term archival of information. Today most new information is published on a website and can easily be altered. The problems is for purposes of historical reference this is not a good thing.

I propose the following, that would create an international archive of publications in such a way where they could never be altered or at least it would be very difficult.

  • Have a purpose build "archival" engine scrape sites containing periodicals from all over the world in all languages.
  • Store each article/image/video in a compressed file and then generate a checksum and or digital signature for that compressed file.
  • A blockchain would then be used as an index for these compressed files along with their checksum and or digital signature to validate the authenticity of the file.
  • Versioning can be done as well with the blockchain index to link documents together that are from the same source/location when modified.
  • This archive could then be accessible by anyone throughout the world and be the primary archival index internationally.
  • Any entity that has the capacity and proper systems could replicate (mirror) the index in its entirety adding additional redundancy to the system.

Because of possible copyright issues with documents being copied there would need to be agreements between the originating sites and the archiving engine to allow for the archiving process to "scrape" their sites in full. Copyrights on periodicals are different than with, say a book. Since the point of a periodical is to be shared I do not believe the archival of them would be a problem. As long as the capturing of the documents includes the proper references to its original publisher.

Any paywalls would have to allow for the archiving engines to bypass them. As per agreements with sites that charge for content, a time delay would be set before releasing the documents publicly. We must respect that publishers have to make a living.

Sites that allow the archiving service to scrape their sites in full would have a seal identifying that they have the integrity to allow their works to be essentially "etched in stone" for the ages.

An archive would also encourage proper journalistic etiquette in properly documenting any corrections and or retractions.

Authentic historical documents are necessary for all of society. Unfortunately throughout the history of our world; many bad actors have altered these documents for malicious and subversive purposes.

I believe the world deserves historical truth to be preserved for all to see without censoring, unaltered, and in full context as it was originally published.

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