World Wide Web turns 30 years old

English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web delivers a speech during an event at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva Switzerland

In an open letter published to mark the World Wide Web's 30th birthday, he wrote, "while the web has created opportunity, given marginalized groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier, it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit". It was on March 12 in 1989 that British physicist Tim Berners-Lee, working for Europe's physics lab CERN, proposed a decentralised system of information management.

A year later, Berners-Lee created the first web browser, which was recently made available as a web app, and the web was born.

"The web is for everyone and collectively we hold the power to change it".

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Berners-Lee recalled how his research was helped by his former boss at CERN, Mike Sendall, who wanted a pretext to buy a then-new Next computer by Steve Jobs' Apple needed for his research.

But Berners-Lee is optimistic about the future of the web, which he sees as constantly evolving.

"Berners-Lee said Sendall told him to "'pick a random program to develop on it.

English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee 3rd left on the podium best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web attends an event at the CERN in Meyrin near Geneva Switzerland

Late past year, a key threshold was crossed - roughly half the world has gotten online.

Deliberate, malicious intent, such as state-sponsored hacking and attacks, criminal behavior, and online harassment.

System design that creates perverse incentives where user value is sacrificed, such as ad-based revenue models that commercially reward clickbait and the viral spread of misinformation. "We're celebrating, but we're also very concerned", Berners-Lee said.

The unintended negative consequences of benevolent design, such as the outraged and polarized tone and quality of online discourse.

On one issue, he's insistent: "Net neutrality - strong regulation", Berners-Lee said, hammering a fist on the table. The Internet is a global network of computers that are able to communicate with one another and the web is the public's main way of accessing the network. Many experts peg the start of the internet to September 2, 1969, when a team of computer scientists at UCLA got two computers to send data to each other through a network for the first time.

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