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Economist Interview with Brewster Kahle of Internet Archive

The Economist has an online article “The Internet’s Librarian” that is also in the March 5th, 2009 print edition.

…the founder of the Internet Archive explains what has driven him for more than a decade. “We are trying to build Alexandria 2.0,” says Mr Kahle with a wide-eyed, boyish grin. Sure, and plenty of people are trying to abolish hunger, too.

It would be easy to dismiss Mr Kahle as an idealistic fruitcake, but for one thing: he has an impressive record when it comes to setting lofty goals and then lining up the people and technology needed to get the job done. “Brewster is a visionary who looks at things differently,” says Carole Moore, chief librarian at the University of Toronto. “He is able to imagine doing things that everyone else thinks are impossible. But then he does them.”

This is probably my favorite quote:

“Come back when you have a warrant,” reads the floor mat underneath his office recliner. It was a gift from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (an activist group on whose board Mr Kahle sits) after Mr Kahle refused to hand over information about one of the Internet Archive’s users to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2007.

I only wish more interviews with Brewster would discuss the plethora of government documents that are in Internet Archive. It’s a valuable resource and it keeps growing!

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