Web Inventor Concerned Over Misuse

The British scientist who developed the World Wide Web said Thursday that he is concerned the Internet could be misused as it grows and he is advocating a research project to study its future.


The British scientist who developed the World Wide Web said Thursday that he is concerned the Internet could be misused as it grows and he is advocating a research project to study its future.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist who is credited with creating the World Wide Web, said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. that the way the Web is used should be examined by a broad spectrum of experts.

''We really must have a science of understanding this. We must be able to look at whether it's going to continue to serve us well, or whether we'll end up with some things which suddenly appear overnight and which in fact are very bad,'' Berners-Lee said. ''Maybe we'll find that some very undemocratic things start happening, and that misinformation starts taking over the Web.''

Berners-Lee wants to convene scientists from various disciplines—including biology, political science and sociology—to study the Web and the way it affects society.

''All kinds of disciplines are going to have to converge,'' he said. ''People with all kinds of skills and knowledge are going to need to work together in order to understand the Web and in order to build a Web which is going to be even better.''

He first proposed the web while developing ways to control computers remotely at CERN, the Geneva-based European Organization for Nuclear Research, in 1989.


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