Tim Berners-lee Issues Warning About the Internet's Future

Tim Berners-lee Issues Warning About the Internet's Future

It's turning 29 - what do you get the World Wide Web that has everything?

In 2016, the United Nations declared internet access a human right, on par with clean water, electricity, shelter and food. More recently, the internet fueled the success of some of the world's largest tech companies-and, in effect, created their own share of problems like misinformation and the crisis of personal data security.

On the 29th birthday of his invention, Tim Berners-Lee has written an open letter published on the World Wide Web Foundation website in which he outlines the major problems we need to overcome to wrestle our internet back from monopolies, and make it closer to the utopian ideal he envisaged back in 1989. "What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms".

Sir Tim added: "Companies are aware of the problems and are making efforts to fix them - with each change they make affecting millions of people". In his post, he said a "legal or regulatory framework" may be needed to improve accountability, manage social objectives and ease the tensions associated with the modern web.

"I think the biggest challenge to answer is not how, but who has the right to regulate a global internet in this way", Danny O'Brien, worldwide director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. "These are deeply political decisions", Zeynep Tufekci, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wrote in a widely-shared op-ed for Wired in January.

Cortana integration and more are coming to Microsoft Teams this year
Microsoft said it would include facial recognition in the future, so particular remarks can be attributed to the right person. The number was disclosed while announcing new Teams features including instant language translation and Cortana integration.

But Berners-Lee opines that the companies which have become the web's gatekeepers can not be relied on to fix the problem, thanks to loyalty to their shareholders rather than society at large.

"Two myths now limit our collective imagination: the myth that advertising is the only possible business model for online companies, and the myth that it's too late to change the way platforms operate", he wrote. On both points, we need to be a little more creative. Facebook has more than 2.2 billion monthly active users - more than 20 times more than MySpace at its peak.

"The Web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today", Berners-Lee noted. Furthermore, he lays out his desire to have more people involved from across business, tech, government, civil society, the arts, and academia in discussions around the future of the web and not those that control it.

The rest of Berners-Lee's letter contends with global inequality of internet access, focusing on those who aren't connected, and those who only nominally are. He also urged supporting policies that help women and the poor to have access to the web, plus the skills to compete in today's digital world. And at the beginning of this year the UN Broadband Commission launched 2025 targets (ITU), including adopting the Alliance for Affordable Internet's threshold for affordability target, which says entry-level broadband services should be less than two percent of average monthly incomes. "That's an entire generation left behind", Berners-Lee warned. He concluded: "I want to challenge us all to have greater ambitions for the web".

Related Articles

  • Karti sent to Tihar till March 24, denied separate cell, books

    Karti sent to Tihar till March 24, denied separate cell, books

    CBI counsel V K Sharma opposed the application for a separate cell and bathroom saying there was no threat to Karti. The court also rejected his counsel's request that he be allocated a separate cell for himself in judicial custody.
    Should the Detroit Lions sign Jonathan Stewart, DeMarco Murray?

    Should the Detroit Lions sign Jonathan Stewart, DeMarco Murray?

    Both running backs are on the wrong side of 30, and likely looking to Detroit as their last chance at winning a starting role. The Detroit Lions are looking to free agency to fix a rushing offense that finished dead last in yards-per-carry last season.
    SP leader Naresh Agarwal joins BJP

    SP leader Naresh Agarwal joins BJP

    He also took a dig at the Samajwadi Party leadership for choosing a "nachne waali" over him for the Rajya Sabha. "He is welcome. In 1997, he formed Akhil Bhartiya Loktantrik Congress Party along with Jagdambika Pal, Rajeev Shukla and Shyam Sunder Sharma.
  • Thousands of Frozen Eggs and Embryos Feared Destroyed at California Fertility Clinic

    Thousands of Frozen Eggs and Embryos Feared Destroyed at California Fertility Clinic

    Last week, an OH hospital said more than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos may have been damaged due to a refrigerator malfunction. The hospital issued an apology after the unexplained malfunction caused temperatures inside the storage tank to rise.
    Cardinals expected to release Adrian Peterson Monday

    Cardinals expected to release Adrian Peterson Monday

    He started his career with the Detroit Lions and signed a six-year contract with Miami in 2015 with nearly $60 million guaranteed. According to Spotrac.com , the Cardinals are freeing up over $2.88 million in cap space by releasing Peterson.
    Ryan Coogler Pens Heartfelt Letter to Ava DuVernay

    Ryan Coogler Pens Heartfelt Letter to Ava DuVernay

    As a writer and director, she's known for powerhouse, emotional films like Selma - the biopic of Dr. Here's a short portion of what Ryan Coogler had to say about the talents of Ana DuVernay.
  • European Union  says Ukraine must to more to fight corruption

    European Union says Ukraine must to more to fight corruption

    Ukraine has been wracked by conflict since March 2014 following Russia's annexation of Crimea after an illegal independence vote. The European Union has chose to provide loans worth Euro 1 billion under a new Macro-Financial Assistance programme for Ukraine.
    Saudi Aramco IPO likely to be delayed until 2019

    Saudi Aramco IPO likely to be delayed until 2019

    Prince Mohammed has wanted to list the company in NY as well, although Saudi officials have expressed concern about scrutiny from US regulators.
    Tease wins Crufts amid protest at the NEC

    Tease wins Crufts amid protest at the NEC

    Elisa Allen, PETA UK director, said: "Crufts glorifies pedigree fetishists" twisted pursuit of the "perfect' dog'". He was wrestled to the ground by a number of security guards and was escorted away.
  • Apple buys magazine app Texture that's partially owned by Rogers

    Apple buys magazine app Texture that's partially owned by Rogers

    And yet, CNN's Dylan Byers, who interviewed Cue, asked why the NRA has a presence in the App Store and on Apple TV. Texture's apps for iOS, Android, and Windows 10/8 (yes) will continue to work - at least for the time being.
    INDW vs AUSW, 1st ODI: Mithali Raj-less India collapse at 200

    INDW vs AUSW, 1st ODI: Mithali Raj-less India collapse at 200

    Poonam Raut and Smriti Mandhana got India off to a bright start with a flurry of boundaries, but the spinners pegged them back. The hosts were off to a steady start with openers, Punam Raut (37) and Mandhana, putting on 38 runs in nine overs.
    Trump's tariff moves muddy trade priorities

    Trump's tariff moves muddy trade priorities

    Ultimately, we will all be losers in a global trade war that will particularly harm the most vulnerable in all societies. My research focuses on the politics of trade and what prompts political leaders to impose restrictions like tariffs.