So, as I'm sure everyone has heard by now, some dimwits in our government put up a bunch of documents on the web last March, and have since taken the site down. Some of those documents contained "charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that the nuclear experts say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet. For instance, the papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and the radioactive cores of atom bombs."
Now, I won't even begin to rant about the stupidity of government officials. No, what I'm here to discuss is the whole concept of "taking the site down". The world breathes a sigh of relief when they hear this right? But should they?
Now, I don't know what the web address of that site was, and I haven't done any investigating to try to find out. But I have to assume that there are some people who DO know what it was.
Some of those people may have copied the content.
Some of those people who didn't copy the content while it was still up and running may think to look in Google's cache for the content.
My point is that sensitive data on the web doesn't necessarily go away when that data is deleted from the web. And sites, including search engines, that archive or cache web pages could cause that sensitive data to live on forever.
Whose fault is it that the data is available? The idiots who posted it in the first place. But does that absolve the "cache-savers" from all responsibility? Legally...probably so. But just because they can get away with it legally, doesn't necessarily make it a good thing to do.
As an SEO, looking at archives and cached pages is of tremendous use to me. But I think I might rather give up that tool if it means that sensitive data is no longer available forever. What do you think?
Above quote is from Austin-American Statesman