As we recently reported, the BBC is set to close down 200 of its websites in the near future as part of cost-cutting measures. Hearing that 172 of these sites would be deleted from the Web entirely, an anonymous (and possibly even “Anonymous”, judging by the picture on the website) individual has taken matters into his or her own hands.
The result is a BitTorrent file that anyone can download to store a backup of these “lost” websites forever. The cost of the project? Apparently no more that $3.99 for a VPS server to crawl and retrieve all the sites.
Arguing that the removing the hosting costs of these websites which were no longer being actively developed was no real saving to the taxpayer at all, the individual writes:
“The purpose of this project is to show how the entire 172 public facing websites that are earmarked for deletion have been copied, archived, distributed and republished online – independently – for the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee (around $3.99).
In other words the true cost saving of this horrendous exercise is nothing more than your morning’s grande skinny caramel latte.”
Taking a more political tone, the author continues:
A weaker BBC means a weaker free press and in turn a weaker British democracy and society at large.
The purpose of this project is to expose the ‘cost savings’ of this proposed exercise as nothing more than a charade to appease the detractors to a strong BBC and to curry favour with the current government. BBC’s current senior management has demonstrated a lack of leadership and a lack of courage in pushing back on these demands.
You can read the full background to the story here.
UPDATE: We’ve been pointed in the direction of Ben Metcalfe as the person responsible for the torrent file.