Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality by Tim Berners-Lee

Posted in: Governance at 23/11/2010 17:01

The world wide web went live, on my physical desktop in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 1990. It consisted of one Web site and one browser, which happened to be on the same computer. The simple setup demonstrated a profound concept: that any person could share information with anyone else, anywhere. In this spirit, the Web spread quickly from the grassroots up. Today, at its 20th anniversary, the Web is thoroughly integrated into our daily lives. We take it for granted, expecting it to "be there" at any instant, like electricity.

The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles and because thousands of individuals, universities and companies have worked, both independently and together as part of the World Wide Web Consortium, to expand its capabilities based on those principles.

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Tim Berners-Lee: Facebook could fragment web
Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites represent "one of several threats" to the future of the world wide web, its founder, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned.

Some of the web's "most successful inhabitants", such as Facebook and large telecoms companies, have begun to "chip away" at its founding principles, Berners-Lee wrote in a Scientific American journal essay published today.

uk: Vaizey insists he favours net neutrality - and agrees with Berners-Lee
The communications minister, Ed Vaizey, has insisted to the Guardian that he is in favour of net neutrality, and that his speech on the subject has been misinterpreted.

Ed Vaizey, who last week gave a speech on the internet and regulation to an FT conference, told the Guardian that "I say 'don't block input' [to the internet]. It's my first principle." He added that he thought people who criticise him for abandoning net neutrality haven't read his speech: "I say the same as Berners-Lee."

However Berners-Lee was less sure when the Guardian asked him. "There's no passage in [Vaizey's] speech where he says he's against net neutrality," he said. "We have discussed it on the phone. But I can't say yet that we're entirely in line."

Tim Berners-Lee: Facebook Threatens Web, Beware
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, warned that social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Friendster constitute one of "several threats to the Web's universality," arguing that such sites create "closed silos of content" that may threaten the Internet's status as a "single, universal information space."

In an article in Scientific American, Berners-Lee argued that the openness of the Internet is at risk and must be defended lest we "lose the freedom to connect with whichever Web sites we want."

Creator of the Web calls for continued open Web
Almost 20 years ago, the World Wide Web went live on the computer of Tim Berners-Lee in Geneva. "The simple setup demonstrated a profound concept: that any person could share information with anyone else, anywhere," he writes. Now Berners-Lee is fighting to keep that setup still in existence.

One of the creators of the Web took to Scientific America on Monday to write an impassioned plea in support of an open Web, calling it a vital tool for democracy, a public resource owned by everyone and critical to free speech. Berners-Lee is among a number of top technology thinkers fighting against a possible tiered Internet system.

Social networking is undermining the web, says web inventor
Social networking, net neutrality deals and government monitoring are threatening the very future of the world wide web, the man responsible for creating it has said just days short of its 20th anniversary.

Tim Berners-Lee said that the storing of data behind virtual corporate walls on social networking sites and the deals being cut between content companies and telecoms operators are threatening the founding principle of the web, which is that systems should all work together based on sets of agreed open standards.

Berners-Lee: Social networks are a 'threat to the web'
Founder of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has slammed social networks claiming they are "a threat to the web".

Berners-Lee believes Facebook and other social networking sites encourage users to enter their information, which is captured and then reused, but not shared with other websites.

Internet Founder Calls For Open Standards/Neutrality
In a call to arms, Internet founder Tim Berners-Lee urged web users to protect the net from becoming a fragmented territory.

Citing threats from all the big players in the telecom space--carriers, social networking sites and search engine operators--Berners-Lee made his case in a new Scientific American article for Internet users to realize their control over the medium and protect it from commercial interests that could undermine its freedom.

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