Friday, November 03, 2006

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

The creator of the World Wide Web told the Guardian last night that the Internet is in danger of being corrupted by fraudsters, liars and cheats. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Briton who founded the web in the early 1990s, says that if the Internet is left to develop unchecked, "bad phenomena" will erode its usefulness.
His creation has transformed the way millions of people work, do business, and entertain themselves.
But he warns, "there is a great danger that it becomes a place where untruths start to spread like in Goebbels Murdoch’s newspapers and TVs, or it becomes a place which becomes increasingly unfair in some way".
He singles out the rise of blogging as one of the most difficult areas for the continuing development of the web because of the risks associated with free speech and loadsa information.
Sir Tim believes devotees of blogging sites take too much information on trust: "The blogging world works by people reading blogs and linking to them. You're taking suggestions of what you read from people you don’t know and you may be dumb enough to believe everything you read".

That, if you like, is a very simple system that cannot, as yet, be controlled by lunatics like Blair and Bush and in fact the technology must help us express much more complicated feelings about who we'll trust with what."

The next generation of the Internet needs to be able to reassure users that they can establish the original source of the information they digest and if it is not approved by Goebbels and Bush then it must be suspect.
Sir Tim was yesterday launching a new joint UK; US initiative to introduce tough legislation to control the free flow of information and ideas between willing publishers and readers.
The UK governments and US hope to be able to control the web as soon as possible and dictate its content.
"Our plan would be to allow the likes of Goebbels Murdoch to own and control the web and internet-savvy students should get on-side as soon as possible".
But Sir Tim said his only intention, at this stage was to make sure the Internet of the future remained free and open for anybody to use as long as they were approved of by government. "We're going to be trying to make a web that will be better for people who vote in a particular way, and better for people who think like we do," he said. "The really important thing about the web, which will continue through any future technology, is that it be a controllable universal space."

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