Tim Berners-Lee unveils global plan to save the web

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Inventor of web calls on governments and firms to safeguard it from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has launched a global action plan to save the web from political manipulation, fake news, privacy violations and other malign forces that threaten to plunge the world into a “digital dystopia”.

The Contract for the Web requires endorsing governments, companies and individuals to make concrete commitments to protect the web from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity.

“I think people’s fear of bad things happening on the internet is becoming, justifiably, greater and greater,” Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, told the Guardian. “If we leave the web as it is, there’s a very large number of things that will go wrong. We could end up with a digital dystopia if we don’t turn things around. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now.”

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The father of the internet wants to save the web from itself

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Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the Internet, sits in front of a 1994 computer displaying his creation.

Twenty-nine years ago, as the architect behind the web’s first browser and server, Tim Berners-Lee built the internet. ”I imagined the web as an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries,” he wrote in a 2017 open letter. But, he says, he’s become “increasingly worried” about new online trends, like lack of privacy, the spread of misinformation, and lack of transparency in online political advertising. Over the last decade, Berners-Lee’s focus has become saving the internet from itself, and now he’s recruiting companies, governments, and citizens to join his cause.

Berners-Lee’s non-profit the World Wide Web Foundation studies internet accessibility and usage, and details the barriers to a free and open internet, like harassment, privacy infringement, and cost. For instance, a recent study found that over 2 billion people live in places where internet is prohibitively expensive to access. And today, Berners-Lee announced a “Contract for the Web,” which lays out principles for using the internet ethically and transparently for all participants.

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Exclusive: Tim Berners-Lee tells us his radical new plan to upend the World Wide Web

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With an ambitious decentralized platform, the father of the web hopes it’s game on for corporate tech giants like Facebook and Google.

Last week, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, asked me to come and see a project he has been working on almost as long as the web itself. It’s a crisp autumn day in Boston, where Berners-Lee works out of an office above a boxing gym. After politely offering me a cup of coffee, he leads us into a sparse conference room. At one end of a long table is a battered laptop covered with stickers. Here, on this computer, he is working on a plan to radically alter how all of us live and work on the web.

“The intent is world domination,” Berners-Lee says with a wry smile. The British-born scientist is known for his dry sense of humor. But in this case, he is not joking.

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The web had failed to serve humanity: Tim Berners-Lee was crushed when Russia used Facebook to meddle in U.S. elections

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World wide web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee said he was “devastated” by recent abuses of the web, in an interview with Vanity Fair.

He is working on a new platform, named Solid, to re-decentralise the internet and take power away from monopolies like Google and Facebook.

He still has hope that the internet can become a something that serves humanity well.

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Tim Berners-Lee: we must regulate tech firms to prevent ‘weaponised’ web

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Tim Berners-Lee: ‘What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms.’

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has called for large technology firms to be regulated to prevent the web from being “weaponised at scale”.

The web can be weaponised – and we can’t count on big tech to stop it

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Platform power is crushing the web, warns Berners-Lee

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On the 29th birthday of the world wide web, its inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has sounded a fresh warning about threats to the web as a force for good, adding his voice to growing concerns about big tech’s impact on competition and society.

The web’s creator argues that the “powerful weight of a few dominant” tech platforms is having a deleterious impact by concentrating power in the hands of gatekeepers that gain “control over which ideas and opinions are seen and shared”.

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Tim Berners-Lee denounces encryption cracking by spy agencies

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

The computer scientist who created the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has called for a “full and frank public debate” over internet surveillance by the National Security Agency and its British counterpart,GCHQ. He warns that the system of checks and balances that oversee the agencies has failed.

 

 

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Berners-Lee warns that governments and companies are ‘trying to take control’ of the internet

Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, says the internet is facing a “major” threat from “people who want to control it on the sly” through “worrying laws” such as SOPA, the US anti-piracy act, and through the actions of internet giants.

 

 

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Demand your personal data from Google and Facebook urges Tim Berners-Lee

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Tim Berners-Lee

Inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, has urged internet users to demand their personal data from online giants such as Google and Facebook to usher in a new era of highly personalized computer services “with tremendous potential to help humanity”.

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Emergence of the Internet

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Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, is now concerned that the net has become more powerful than even he believed possible

An interview with Tim Berners-Lee recently highlighted his belief that the web needs to be studied scientifically as a source of potential emergent behaviours. Emergence is usually considered a threat, where a complex system can exhibit behaviour that was unpexted, because of unexpected complex interactions among system components. In nature, 50 year waves happen because of the rare(every 50 years at a particular place) interaction of waves coming from different directions, and they can sink ships. On the web, waves of information can bring down servers and even large sections of the net. But it isn’t just waves that can casue problems. The internet is a very multidimensional entity, and indeed, even the world wide web is only one of the services running on it, albeit arguably the most important one.

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