06 September 2012

Internet has no offswitch

Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the world wide web has denied there is an "off-switch" which could turn off the internet across the globe. He said the only way the internet could ever be entirely shut down is if governments all over the world co-ordinated to make it a centralised system.

Speaking at the launch of the first ever global league table classifying countries which put the web to work best, the Berners-Lee said: "The way the internet is designed is very much as a decentralised system. At the moment, because countries connect to each other in lots of different ways, there is no one off-switch, there is no central place where you can turn it off. In order to be able to turn the whole thing off or really block, suppress one particular idea then the countries and governments would have to get together and agree and co-ordinate and turn it from a decentralised system to being a centralised system. And if that does happen it is really important that everybody fights against that sort of direction."

Asked about rumours that he himself was one a handful of people who had the ability to switch off the net, Sir Tim joked: "I am afraid that now that you know I will have to shoot you. I have put on filters which allow me just to investigate just every single word that any of you have said to each other. You won't know what is happening but as you talk to each other it will be quietly modified to appear to be whatever I want you to be saying. I will take a deep control of the world. Apart from that, everything will remain as usual."

"The free exchange of ideas is what is behind democracy or any kind of open way of living and when you control the press, when you control television, radio or now what you might call the web, all the transactions of knowledge that flow between people, individuals and countries, when firewalls are put around that, when information is not allowed in or out of a country, it is pretty much inexcusable."

So no off-switch  Sir Tim? Everyone knows that he is the Grand Elder of the Internet with the power of electronic life and death over us all!


susan said...

I just found 'The Internet OFF Switch' in the linen cupboard. Shall I press it on your behalf?

jams o donnell said...