The supporters of the Islamic State group is using the Internet Archive to impede efforts to delete their online propaganda, a study suggests.
The report has analyzed hundreds of thousands of links posted to two hidden forums that are used by the extremist group.
Archive.org links have been found to be the most common type on the two forums for the past two years.
Based in the united states the service allows users to save and view the pages that would have otherwise been lost from the net.
A spokesman for the Internet Archive said he would take steps to address the issue.
The research was done by the cyber-security company flash point.
He said that the two forums were located on the “deep web”, making reference to sites that do not appear in the search engine results, but can still be accessed by a normal web browser.
He refused to give their names to the independent audit.
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The researchers said a sample of more than 730 000 web links published between the beginning of the year 2015 and the end of 2017 have been collected from one of the forums and 290,000 of the other.
Archive.org accounted for 14.3% of the harvest, the links on the largest forum in 2017, and 11.4% of those on the smaller of the two, according to the report.
The YouTube links were the second most common and the links Google comes in third position on the basis of a combination of the positions of his Reader, Photos, and Google+ platforms. “Actively archived’
Flashpoint believes the supporters have started to intentionally post links to the pages stored by the Internet Archive of the site-registration service in March 2016, on the basis of the data collected and some of the forum comments, it had read.
This seems to have been motivated in part by Twitter and other services more quickly removing the offending accounts, and extremist content.
“The use of [the Internet Archive] has allowed the group to achieve the persistence each time that the content published on a site like justpaste.it is deleted for violation of terms of service,” wrote Ken Wolf, a senior analyst at flashpoint.
“In addition, the data suggests that, rather than wait for these pages to be archived by the web service crawler, the members are actively archiving pages after their creation.
“This is evidenced by the links to archived sites that appear in the same post as the link to the original content.”‘Prompt action”
The Internet Archive is a not-for-profit “digital library” is supported by user donations.
As such, it lacks the R&D budget to pursue the type of artificial, intelligence, search-and-destroy efforts.
A spokesman for the Internet Archive, told the BBC that he has held regular meetings on the extremist content with government officials in the U.S. and the EU, and has made changes accordingly.
“A large part of the content is taken down quickly, at our knowledge, for example content with the performances or personal threats,” said Chris Butler.
“Other extremist materials may be sequestered and/or placed behind barriers to prevent the use of our website for promotional purposes, propagandist, while keeping it preserved, various journalists, academics, law enforcement officials, and other researchers have all let us know is important and useful in their work.
“We find that this intervention tends to reduce the number of views of these materials dramatically.”
However, Mr. Wolf commented that the Internet Archive could soon find themselves under pressure to be more proactive.
“At the end of 2017, beginning of 2018, we have seen governments in Europe, in particular, to discuss the collection of fines or fees against hosting providers for not removing extremist content from their platforms within a given period of time,” he said.
“It is not clear if Archive.org would be included among those who could be sentenced to a fine, but the possibility exists.”