Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web and now he wants to reinvent it

Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web somewhere around 1990 while working as a scientist for CERN. At the time, his idea was simply to create a tool for scientists to gather and share information. Little did he expect that it would be the life-changing juggernaut that it is today. He now bemoans that lack of foresight and wishes he could start over.


Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web somewhere around 1990 while working as a scientist for CERN. At the time, his idea was simply to create a tool for scientists to gather and share information. Little did he expect that it would be the life-changing juggernaut that it is today. He now bemoans that lack of foresight and wishes he could start over.

Berners-Lee turns 61 today and regrets a lot of things about his creation. Speaking to The New York Times, he said that he’s primarily concerned with the fact that the internet has now transformed into the “world’s largest surveillance network.” The fact that a single entity can have absolute control over even a single facet of the internet is a crime against humanity.

He wanted the web to be a world where information could be distributed readily and freely, but also where there was accountability. Just the day before his birthday, June 7, he joined a conference with the likes of Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive, to discuss the decentralization of the web.

The current model of the World Wide Web relies on IP addresses and a network of dedicated servers, either of which can be blocked or tracked very easily. Decentralising the web would involve a rework of the very framework on which the web is built.

At the conference, the various scientists and luminaries got together and discussed various techniques for decentralization. They discussed encryption, the adoption of technologies created at the inception of digital currencies and cryptography.

The aim to decentralize the web and completely dismantle the notion of government oversight is a lofty and noble one. The fact that so many senior members of the information industry are involved in this is, however, an indication of how seriously they’re taking the matter.

Methods of archiving the web and storing multiple copies of a site were also discussed. Various payment methods, such as adopting the “ledger” system used by BitCoin and similar cryptocurrency were also discussed as a means of allowing for more “individual control of money.”

The idea is to eliminate middleman entirely from all aspects of the web. Be that in browsing, transactions, or even social networking. Benes-Lee himself is not that hopeful on the issue, saying that the problem is more a social one than a technological one.


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