The 25 year history of the internet has been great for development due to a lack of central control.
In his opening keynote at IP Expo in London, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said that in the 25 years since he wrote a memo about the world wide web about wanting to fix the confusion on documentation systems, the internet has changed incredibly to a stage where “young people only know about ‘click and you have it’.
Berners- Lee said: “25 years on we have learned about a platform where can plug into a system and write a programme and that connects over the internet. That is part of why the fight for net neutrality is important, that we keep a platform without attitude or a centre, that is not asking permission.
“The internet was designed so cleanly as it was designed with no centre and it is hard work keeping it as one web, and open, but you can spread across the internet and build into it the same thing and do whatever you like. If you want to build a new experience, you don’t ask me for permission as there is no central control.”
Berners-Lee said that a central point of conrol would have stopped its growth, and having it as a central platform for 25 years, he said that the creativity was “mind blowing” to have an HTML page and start to programme it. “Now with HTML5 and the open web, it is a whole new platform,” he said.
Asked what he thought of the dark web, he said that humanity has produced bad people doing some bad stuff over the generations, and the web is a vehicle and not there to judge.
He said: “It is like a white sheet of paper, and the medium has got to be neutral and whether people use it for nasty or wonderful things, as you look at humanity in general, I am hopeful and think we will make it, but think it will be tough.”