Decentralization and Archiving: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities by Presnted by Lorena Ramirez-Lopez, Sawood Alam, Jack Cushman , Benedict Lau, Tessa Walsh, and Ilya Kreymer

Presented by Lorena Ramirez-Lopez, Sawood Alam, Jack Cushman , Benedict Lau, Tessa Walsh, and Ilya Kreymer

This panel will focus on challenging but important questions about the role of decentralization and how it affects/is affected by digital preservation, specifically web and social media archiving. We will explore questions around archiving, memory, how both are practiced and who benefits, who doesn’t. We will ask difficult questions, such as: is decentralization always a positive force? What are the threats associated with archiving and decentralization? How can archiving be done in a secure way, and by whom, or should it be done at all? How can decentralization and archiving be stewarded in a way to minimize threats to marginalized groups? What are the ethical considerations to be taken in the archiving process? The discussion will also be informed by the recently published paper “Memory in Uncertainty” produced by New Design Congress, and Documenting the Now Project's whitepaper on ethics.

Jack Cushman
Harvard Library Innovation Lab

Jack Cushman is the director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, a software and design lab at the Harvard Law School Library building tools and communities for open knowledge. A software engineer and appellate attorney, he previously worked as lead developer of the Caselaw Access Project, and has served as a lecturer on computer programming at Harvard Law School, as a fellow of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and as a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.


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Sawood Alam
Researcher, Old Dominion University

Sawood Alam is a PhD Student of Computer Science at Old Dominion University, USA. Sawood received his B.Tech. degree in Computer Engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia, India in 2008 and his M.S. in Computer Science from Old Dominion University, USA in 2013. His Master’s Thesis title was "HTTP Mailbox – Asynchronous Restful Communication". Sawood is currently working on his Ph.D. dissertation titled, "A Framework of Web Archive Profiling for Efficient Memento Aggregation". Apart from his academic research in Web Science and Web Archiving field, he has a keen interest in various fields including Linux Containerization, Decentralized Web, Machine Learning, and solving technical challenges of Urdu and other Right-to-Left complex script languages. Sawood actively follows latest Web technologies.


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Ilya Kreymer
Webrecorder, Creator and Lead Developer, .
Benedict Lau
Co-founding Member, Hypha Worker Co-operative

Benedict Lau is an engineer of distributed systems, mesh networks, and collectively-governed infrastructures. He is a Co-founding Member of Hypha Worker Co-operative and Distributed Press, and CTO of Starling Lab for Data Integrity.


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