The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is pleased to announce that Amber, an open-source software tool that preserves content and prevents broken links, has been promoted to full project status on Drupal.org. When installed on a blog or website, Amber can take a snapshot of the content of every linked page, ensuring that even if those pages are interfered with or blocked, the original content will be available.
The distribution of the module on Drupal.org comes as part of a series of Amber-related rollouts. In January 2016, Amber was officially included in the WordPress.org plugin directory. Both plugins build upon an original proposal from Jonathan Zittrain and Sir Tim Berners-Lee for a “mutual aid treaty" for the Internet. Amber is intended to also mitigate risks associated with increasing centralization of online content, enabling the storage of snapshots via multiple archiving services such as the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and Perma.cc. Since its public launch, Amber for WordPress has received over 1,200 downloads through WordPress.org.
“Drupal’s user base consists mostly of organizations managing large websites,” said Genève Campbell, Amber’s technical project manager. “Many groups’ policies prevent installing software that is not distributed through the platform itself. We hope becoming distributed through Drupal.org will serve to broaden Amber adoption.” Amber is useful for any individual or organization, such as news outlets and human rights groups, that has an interest in preserving the content to which their website links.
Amber is one of a suite of initiatives of the Berkman Center focused on preserving access to information. Other projects include Internet Monitor, which aims to evaluate, describe, and summarize the means, mechanisms, and extent of Internet content controls and Internet activity around the world; Lumen, an independent research project collecting and analyzing requests for removal of online content; and Herdict, a tool that collects and disseminates real-time, crowdsourced information about Internet filtering, denial of service attacks, and other blockages. It also extends the mission of Perma.cc, a project of the Library Innovation Lab at the Harvard Law School Library. Perma.cc is a service that helps scholars, courts and others create web citation links that will never break.
In addition to the Drupal module, Amber is also available as a plugin for WordPress. Find out more at amberlink.org.