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U of T Preserving Environmental Websites in Response to Trump Presidency

Submitted on Wednesday, January 25, 2017

With U.S. President-elect Donald Trump selecting several climate-change deniers to his cabinet – new Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt and Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State – some scientists fear environmental data now available online could disappear.

University of Toronto faculty, librarians and students are working with the Internet Archive’s End of Term project to help preserve at-risk U.S. government websites with plans to capture crucial scientific and environmental websites before they vanish.

This push to preserve information before the incoming Trump administration took control of U.S. federal agencies spurred the full-day “Guerrilla Archiving Event: Saving Environmental Data from Trump” hackathon scheduled that took place Dec. 17 at the Faculty of Information. Participants flagged information for the non-profit organization Internet Archive, which archives Internet pages and makes them publicly available.

The hackathon was organized by the Faculty of Information’s Patrick Keilty, an assistant professor and a member of U of T’s Technoscience Salon and Research Unit, History and Women and Gender Studies Professor Michelle Murphy and Matt Price, an instructor in the Faculty of Arts & Science and the Faculty of Information. Sam-chin Li is a U of T Government Publications and Reference Librarian at Robarts Library. Her team archived the Aboriginal Canada Portal site before the Canadian government shut it down.

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Story updated with current news (January 25 by Geoffrey Vendeville)