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Tim Berners-Lee: WWW Will Not be Controlled By One Entity

Wired has published an article that includes some content from an apparent conversation with Tim Berners-Lee. Though he may not mean the same to the youngest Internet users as he did to the first generation that grew up programming modems to browse web pages and retrieve email, Berners-Lee is the one who we have to thank for the vision of the WWW.

It's somewhat apparent that the power struggle on the Internet hardly reflects the vision of the original WWW, but it appears that Berners-Lee is happier with the WWW now than he was a few years ago. The Wired article largely repeats Berners-Lee statements from previous interviews, but also notes that he is not so worried about the public's understanding of open standards anymore. Wired writes: "[Berners-Lee] worried that the general public wouldn’t understand the importance not only of keeping the underlying formats and protocols open, but preventing any one entity from controlling the Internet itself. In recent years, however, he’s been pleasantly surprised with how the world has responded to these issues."

Much of that concern related to apps that are replacing web pages on smartphones and tablets as well as information "silos" such as Facebook that swallow information, but do not give it back to the greater community of the WWW. "The major concern is always that some large organization gets to control the net, whether it's a country or a corporation," Berners-Lee said. "But over the last few years, the public in general have become much more aware of this issue. I used to feel I was alone in a void saying: 'You have to make sure no one controls the internet.' But not anymore."

A key issue for Berners-Lee is the URL, which was under attack last year, when Google briefly played with the idea to remove it from the browser GUI. But he believes that the URL is here to stay. “The URL will be the last thing to change, because that’s the thing that ties it all together.”