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"black hole" for future historians?

State bodies not archiving websites

Published söndag 6 mars 2011 kl 12.55
The government's official homepage (www.regeringen.se)

Swedish authorities are not archiving their websites, despite legislation saying that copies have to be kept as they are officially classed as public documents.

Just 12 percent of the 344 state bodies questioned in a survey by the National Archives say they have procedures in place to save their pages. The failure to save a copy of what the page looked like can cause problems if it is later needed as evidence in a legal hearing, reports Swedish Radio News. One concrete example was when a student and a university clashed several years back over what it had promised a course would contain on an old homepage.

The lack of copies is not just a legal issue, however, it could mean a huge black hole for future historians to study today's society if no evidence remains, according to experts.

A government-appointed commission is to recommend new guidelines on the saving of state homepages by the summer.

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