Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Can a web hosting forever be done from the grave? A "dead hand"?

Jeff Reitman has a detailed exploration on a site called Tutsplus on whether your website can be hosted automatically and forever after your death, according to directions in your will. 
The short answer is, probably not.  But people have tried to set up automatic long renewals.
The Internet Archive probably will hold a lot of your stuff indefinitely if left alone, but even there, a lot of stuff doesn’t get all picked up.
The ultimate problem is that it takes people to respond to problems.  No automated system is perfect (although if we master space travel and evacuate Earth to other planets, we’ll have to get pretty good at this.)   A completely unattended operation could probably become a security honey pot, too.
Culture is changing, too.  Yup, world famous classics authors will be around forever (although English departments in politically correct colleges are running those too).  But tech companies are starting to think about ephemeral content, that nothing needs to last forever.  Remember the right to be forgotten?

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