2014-03-21

Co.Exist

What Internet Inventor Tim Berners-Lee Hopes The Internet Will Become

At TED, the inventor of the World Wide Web shares his hopes and fears about its future as it turns 25.

We used to think of the Internet as a place where we can connect with others and share information privately. But Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the World Wide Web, is speaking out about his worries for its future. We now have to "worry about the underlying infrastructure," he says.

What are the problems he sees? For one, issues of privacy and censorship make it more difficult for people to communicate freely. He also believes that corporate centralization actually limits our social networks, and governments who are trying to fragment the Internet to solve the problem of privacy are obstructing our free use of a platform that was once completely open.

What does he hope to see at this 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web? Among his long list of hopes: More democracy, shared information for private health care, that the other 60% of the world who can't use the web freely gain access, and that response for disaster relief online will improve. Will Berners-Lee's dreams come true? Only another 25 years will tell.

[Painting by Paul Corio]

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