Internet Reaches New Stage of Permanence

There’s a lot of buzz around this decision (full pdf opinion – see pages 12-14) to allow archived web pages from archive.org into federal court, overcoming hearsay and authentication objections. This doesn’t seem very surprising to me, but I’m often reminded of the fact that people don’t realize that the internet leaves an electronic paper trail.
I occasionally get emails asking me to delete posts or remove names from Law School Discussion. I think these usually result from people typing their own names in Google and discovering that, yes, Google really was good enough to find what one published for the world to read. With archive.org, the web has a perfect memory. It remembers my poor design of Law School Discussion, and that of popular sites like Yahoo!. If a memory can be shown to be perfect, why shouldn’t it be admissible in court?
The lesson to this is that everyone publishing to the internet – including on blogs or message boards, should be aware that they’re leaving a permanent mark. You have the right to remain silent, anything you freely publish to the world can and will be used against you in a court of law.

One thought on “Internet Reaches New Stage of Permanence”

  1. Did you know that archive.org currently stores approx. 1 peta byte of memory. That is = to 1 quadrillion bytes. I don’t know much about computers but that sounds like a lot…mds

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