Inventor Of World Wide Web Warns Against Internet’s Closing Walls
Tim Berners-Lee argues that closed-systems like Facebook, discriminatory Internet providers and government spying all work against the egalitarian link economy of the Web, limiting innovation and human rights.
Tim Berners-Lee, who created the world’s first Web page in December 1990 writes in Scientific American on how the rise of closed-system social media, unfair Internet providers and government snooping are working against the egalitarian and universal principles that allowed The Web to flourish in the first place.
The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles and because thousands of individuals, universities and companies have worked, both independently and together as part of the World Wide Web Consortium, to expand its capabilities based on those principles. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights.