FlexiSpy, a Thailand-based company that sells monitoring software, recently had its site deleted from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the Sophos Naked Security blog reported.
This follows a report that FlexiSpy requested the deletion, and Motherboard raising the alarm that the Internet Archive was deleting evidence of “malware sold to stalkers”.
While it is possible that the Internet Archive complied with FlexiSpy’s request, Sophos said there is an automated way to remove a site from the Wayback Machine using a robots.txt file.
The Internet Archive generally respects the robots.txt standard, and if a site indicates it does not wish to be archived, it will delete it from the Wayback Machine.
In December 2016, it began ignoring robots.txt files on government sites, however.
In April 2017, it announced it was “looking to do this more broadly”.
The Internet Archive did not respond to requests about its policy, stated Sophos.