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Democracy's Library: One Petabyte Later

The Upload V24

One year after the introduction of Democracy’s Library, an Internet Archive initiative that ensures government data from around the world remains permanently accessible to the public, the project has uploaded more than a petabyte of material to the Filecoin network. 

Government agencies spend billions of dollars generating data that is intended to be publicly accessible, but there is no cohesive system to preserve this data. Moreover, there are thousands of government websites with no plan in place to preserve this data between changes in administrations.

Fortunately, the Internet Archive has created resources to support public access to historical government records, such as the End of Term Web Archive, which contains federal government websites (.gov, .mil, etc.) for each branch of the U.S. government. As part of the Democracy's Library project, this information is now protected on the Filecoin network so that the public doesn’t lose access to the research, reports, and data the United States federal government produces. 

“Our goal is to empower citizens to access public data and information – uncovering and unlocking this information is vital for democracy and an engaged society.”

— Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian and Founder of the Internet Archive

As the Democracy’s Library collection grows, the initiative is focusing on the preservation and accessibility of U.S. and Canadian government documents, including uploading collections to the Filecoin network and furthering our mission to preserve humanity’s most important information. In addition, the project will explore how to support countries that are currently under-resourced for public digital record keeping.   

Public access to government data unlocks new opportunities for innovation. Here are a few examples: 

  • We can build better climate change impact models by merging environmental, agricultural, and weather data.

  • These datasets can power useful apps, such as visualization tools to track campaign finance or legislative voting records.

  • Policymakers can learn from other governments' open research on education, healthcare, and urban planning.

  • Citizens would be better able to evaluate the impact of officials and policies if they had access to unfiltered reports and primary sources.

Filecoin Foundation collaborates with Internet Archive to provide the underlying architecture for Democracy’s Library data storage and distribution.

  • Filecoin's built-in redundancy keeps Democracy's Library available 24/7.

  • Decentralization prevents any single entity from restricting access to the data.

“The decentralized web offers an alternative to Big Tech in which the availability of information is not dependent on one company or server. This provides a more robust and resilient platform for humanity’s most important information, including precious government datasets that belong in the hands of the public.”

– Marta Belcher, President of Filecoin Foundation

With more than one petabyte and counting, the Democracy’s Library team continues to add collections to the Filecoin network. Programs like Democracy's Library are not just a repository of data; they are custodians of history, enabling an informed, engaged, and transparent democracy. 

FF’s Highlights From Participating in LabWeek23

The future of AI and enterprise data is decentralized storage. Experts estimate that AI-generated content could account for as much as 90% of information on the internet in just a few years. In Istanbul, Filecoin Foundation’s Clara Tsao shared how the Filecoin network holds three advantages in building a more reliable solution for AI: scale and cost, trust in proof of storage, and resilience to data monopolies. Filecoin is a solution for storing massive amounts of public data at a fraction of the cost of the current centralized market leaders. 

The Filecoin ecosystem is more accessible than ever. FF’s User Experience Improvement Team (UXIT) is building and testing tools that can be used by anyone – Web3 experts and newcomers alike. They’re helping build an environment where users can achieve their goals without running into bugs or requiring outside resources. Teams building on the network can work with the UXIT during any phase of development for user-testing support.

Build with Us 

FIL Bangalore is back for a second year! Leading Web3 companies, projects, developers, and experts are coming together in Bangalore, December 3-4, to explore a decentralized future and unlock tools to build for public goods. After an outstanding turnout last year, drawing over 2,000 attendees and more than 25 global partners, you won’t want to miss this year’s lineup of keynotes, panels, and workshops.

Ready to help grow the ecosystem? Become an Orbit Ambassador. In 2023, more than 150 Orbit Ambassadors volunteered to help build their local Filecoin communities by hosting over 200 events globally. Check out Clara Tsao’s Orbit Program Spotlight at LabWeek23, and apply to become an Orbit Ambassador.


On Filecoin Plus Day, the Fil + team announced details for the fifth round of applications and elections to select Notary Allocators. Thanks to everyone who tuned in to hear the latest on the application process, scoring, tooling, and processes for compliance verification, dispute resolution, and more. You can find the full recording on Filecoin Foundation's YouTube channel.

We want to hear from you! FIP0001v2 is still accepting community feedback. The FIP0001v2 draft is the result of several months of in-depth research, consultations, and community engagements to improve the FIPs process. Read the full draft of this FIP on GitHub and find out more about the process on our blog.