The Internet Archive, or Archive.org, is a non-profit organization that stores snapshots of web pages and other media so that you can view them at different states in time even if they have been deleted or been changed. Even though sites like Archive.org exist and content posted on the Internet is typically there forever, lawsuits, censorship, DDOS attacks, and Internet outages could cause content to be removed or become inaccessible.
For these reasons, Archive.org is testing a decentralized version, or DWeb version, of their web site that allows their content to be delivered over peer-to-peer connections with different hosts sharing portions of or the same content. This decentralized version of Archive.org is running on the domain https://dweb.me/ or https://dweb.archive.org/ and uses a combination of HTTP and peer-to-peer protocols such as yjs, IPFS, WebTorrent, and GUN to deliver the content.
When testing the DWeb version of Archive.org, I found it to be a bit slower than the normal version, but it does a good enough job of delivering the requested content content. There are still some quirky behavior such as some of the images not being displayed properly, but overall works pretty well.
When viewing larger sized content, such as videos, it may take some time to connect to P2P peers in order to download the content. You can see an example of a video being downloaded over P2P from the DWeb version of Archive.org below.
While this project looks very interesting, there is no information on how users can get involved in the decentralized version of Archive.org and who the peers are that are distributing the content.
No official announcement from Archive.org could be found regarding their DWeb project, but they do appear to be very involved in this initiative. This is shown with them creating a Decentralized Web Summit and creating numerous articles on their blog related to the DWeb, including a Decentralized Web FAQ.
As part of this FAQ, one of the questions asked is why Archive.org is getting involved in a decentralized web.
"A: The Internet Archive has been archiving the World Wide Web for 20 years, saving different versions of webpages over time, and making them openly available to anyone using the Wayback Machine (available at https://archive.org/web/). The Decentralized Web would build the Wayback Machine into the DWeb, and the DWeb into Wayback Machine, says Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle. "The Internet Archive is dedicated to the open world," says Kahle. "We’re only going to survive if the open world is more interesting than closed app worlds on cell phones, or a dystopian world of closed, segmented, siloed, corporately-owned little pieces of property. We would rather see an open, next-generation Web succeed."
BleepingComputer has contacted Archive.org for more information regarding their DWeb site, but had not heard back at the time of this publication.