Tuesday, 02 October 2018 08:25

Berners-Lee plans decentralised Web to restore power to people

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Berners-Lee plans decentralised Web to restore power to people Pixabay

The inventor of the worldwide web, Tim Berners-Lee, has begun work on a decentralised web to restore the power and agency of individuals.

In a blog post, Berners-Lee said his new project was named Solid and was being developed with the help of a few people at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He said the new model would give the individual complete control over data and would be based on the existing Web.

"Solid changes the current model where users have to hand over personal data to digital giants in exchange for perceived value," Berners-Lee wrote.

"As we’ve all discovered, this hasn’t been in our best interests. Solid is how we evolve the web in order to restore balance — by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way."

Solid would give all users a say in where data was stored, who could access it and the apps that were used by an individual.

"In 2009, I said, 'The Web as I envisaged it we have not seen yet'. That was because people were using the Web just for documents, not for the data of a big web-wide computer," Berners-Lee said.

"Since then, we have seen a wave of open data, but not of read-write data. For example, much open government data is produced through a one-way pipeline, so we can only view it. With Solid, it becomes a read-write web where users can interact and innovate, collaborate and share."

To this end, he said he had founded a company named inrupt which would be the infrastructure allowing Solid to flourish.

"Its mission is to provide commercial energy and an ecosystem to help protect the integrity and quality of the new web built on Solid," Berners-Lee said.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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