Berners-Lee sounds off on Internet deficits


Many experts in technology have been thinking for a while now about the Internet taking a different shape.

Some of today’s news comes from a public statement by none other than Tim Berners-Lee, who needs no introduction to most tech geeks as one of the original founders of Internet technologies. Berners-Lee has worked at the W3C or World Wide Web Consortium that is responsible for many of the standards and practices around the global Internet, and before that, helped to shepherd the nascent Internet from its DARPANet origins to what all of us are now familiar with.

In his breaking statement, Berners-Lee talks about how changing the Internet might look different than what some have posited before, for example, decentralizing the Internet with blockchain.

What’s more important, he says, is the ability for users to do more diverse things on the web.

“The public are getting fed up with certain things,” Berners-Lee says, naming “lack of control” and “silos” as pain points, and saying the goal is empowerment.

“They want to do stuff,” Berners-Lee says.

Tackling the issue of expansive social networks on the Internet, Berners-Lee says it was originally assumed that all of this global information could be open to the public. What he now feels is that many of the collaborative platforms should have been gated by a single global sign-on.

One obvious hitch in this kind of plan is the stateless nature of Internet sessions. Browser makers have tried to get around this problem with cookies and beacons and trackers, but that also raises privacy issues. The whole thing is, in many senses, a jerryrigged contraption that works inefficiently.

However, as we continue to make so many advances in so many different kinds of technology, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the Internet will continue to mature and evolve toward some of these more useful premises.

Keep that in mind as you’re casting wagers on tech stocks, because if you spot the next innovative breakthrough, it could net you a considerable sum of money.