Governments around the world lean toward censoring the amount of information found on the internet. It now appears the US government has plans to remove scientific data from the World Wide Web, which is a troublesome development. The Trump administration is on an aggressive campaign to get rid of environmental data. Thankfully, at least one group is fighting back.
Removing Scientific Data is Never the Answer
Virtually everyone in the world knows Donald Trump is not a believer of global warming or environmental data proving climate change is real. As a result, it now appears members of his administration are tasked with removing scientific research from the Internet. This effort has been going on for quite some time now. It is a bit unclear what the Trump administration hopes to achieve by this.
This unsolicited behavior has not gone by unnoticed. In November of 2016, scientists and academics formed the Environmental Data Governance Initiative. Their main objective is to ensure environmental data remains accessible to everyone. The group is collaborating with The Internet Archive, as they create digital records of all information on the brink of being deleted.
Very few people realize the US government can legally take specific information offline whenever they wish. Despite records laws preventing the government from purging information, taking it offline does not make it inaccessible. This “loophole” is readily being exploited by the Trump administration. Taking data offline is not the only troublesome trend by the current administration. President Trump also announced he wants to cut the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency moving forward.
The US government is trying to censor scientific research from being shared with the public. Online censorship is never a viable solution, as it will only create precedents to take other information offline as well. The general public deserves access to these digital treasure troves and hold firms accountable if they do not adhere to environmental standards.
Unfortunately, we see these overreaching methods by governments all too often these days. Taking specific data offline is a successful way of ensuring no one can see these records without permission. The US government is playing a very dangerous game by going after environmental data. It is uncanny how people still can believe global climate change does not exist in 2017.
Thanks to projects such as the Environmental Data Governance Initiative, all of the necessary information will remain accessible, for now. They are fighting an uphill battle against the US government and will need all of the help they can get. Public outcry regarding the actions of the Trump administration needs to be made vocal. The government has no right to keep these reports hidden from the public. After all, if there is damaging evidence regarding corporations or government officials, the public should be the first to know about it.
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