The creator of the World Wide Web is now on a mission to save it.
Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, the person who made it possible to read this online article, first came up with the concept of the Web back in 1989.
But 33 years later, he believes tech platforms “control the world and manipulate people by providing information”.
Speaking to Euronews Next at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon earlier this month, Berners-Lee said that “some people thought that tech people would save the world then. Now, we’re in a situation where there are a lot of things wrong with the Web”.
His solution is “a mid-course correction to take it back,” which he calls Web3.0.
This is not the same as Web3, the name which has been waved around by many in the tech world as the next iteration of the Internet.
But before jumping to its future and its perils, it is important to know its origins and development.
How the World Wide Web began
Berners-Lee was born in 1955 in London and studied physics at the University of Oxford.
In the 1980s he started working as a consultant at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), where he came up with the original WEB prototype, which he called “Enquire Within Upon Everything”. Its aim was to allow scientists to share data across systems.
But the Internet is not the same as the Web. The Internet already existed in the 1970s but no one really knew it was there.
Electrical engineers Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf first developed the Internet Protocol (IP), which allowed bits of information to be shared by computers. In a nutshell, it created a process by which computers were then able to speak to one another. This is the physical part that the Web can then plug into.
Berners-Lee then came along and wrote his proposal to develop a distributed single information system to meet the demand for automated information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world.
In 1990, he wrote a second proposal for the Web, which described the…