Internet has no 'off switch', says web inventor

Sep 05, 2012
Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the World Wide Web, pictured in April 2012, warned governments that attempts to block the Internet were doomed to failure due to its scattered structure.

Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the World Wide Web, on Wednesday warned governments that attempts to block the Internet were doomed to failure due to its scattered structure.

Speaking at the launch of a league table showing which use the web most effectively, Berners-Lee said the lack of a global internet "off-switch" meant authoritarian regimes could not stem the influx of .

"The way the Internet is designed is very much as a decentralised system," he explained at the London launch.

"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."

Sweden came out on top of the global league table, which was calculated by the World Wide Web Foundation using indicators such as the political, economic and of the web, connectivity and use.

The US came in second, ahead of Britain, Canada and Finland. France came in at 14th place. Yemen ranked bottom, closely followed by Zimbabwe, and Benin.

Berners-Lee, who was honoured during the opening ceremony, launched the first web page on Christmas Day 1990.

He is credited with creating the World Wide Web, which enables users to store and access information via the internet.

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holoman
1 / 5 (5) Sep 05, 2012
Never heard of this guy when we were flying simulated space
shuttle missions at NASA/AMES Cal. on JFK Airports in NY. 1976

http://ed-thelen....-iv.html

Of course, didn't call it internet back then, so I guess if
you coin a name you can claim a technology ?

ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2012
there is no one off switch, there is no central place where you can turn it off
It's rather easy to deactivate the Internet through its root nameservers - we just didn't experience it because of absence of global geopolitical conflict in modern era. One example of the governemntal control of the Internet
Deathclock
1 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2012
It would also be rather easy to sever the undersea cables where they come ashore...
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2012
"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.


Yes there is. If you shut down IANA, the internet will fall apart sooner or later, because it controls the assignment of IP adress blocks to different ISPs around the world.

Unless another central authority is brought up, and everyone forced to follow it, the internet will split into pieces because nobody can agree who has what IP ranges and where to route them.

It's rather easy to deactivate the Internet through its root nameservers


Nameservers only deal with the WWW, which is not the internet. Not having nameservers is like losing your phone book - inconvenient, but things still work if you remember the right number.
El_Nose
not rated yet Sep 05, 2012
Yemen ranked bottom, closely followed by Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Benin.


HOW ... i don't understand if u came in last how do 3 other countries follow you?

Am i being dense?
Neurons_At_Work
not rated yet Sep 05, 2012
Yemen ranked bottom, closely followed by Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Benin.


HOW ... i don't understand if u came in last how do 3 other countries follow you?

Am i being dense?

They probably should have said something like "preceded by", or "beating out" or some other phrase other than "followed by". (Hey, I'm just a writer. Never said I was clear or concise.)
Meyer
1 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2012
Now that Tim Berners-Lee has said it, I have faith that it is true.
Kafpauzo
5 / 5 (2) Sep 09, 2012
Never heard of this guy when we were flying simulated space shuttle missions at NASA/AMES Cal. on JFK Airports in NY. 1976

http://ed-thelen....-iv.html

Of course, didn't call it internet back then, so I guess if
you coin a name you can claim a technology ?

Tim Berners-Lee is not credited with inventing the Internet. He's credited with inventing the World Wide Web. Big difference!

He invented the arrangement where you can have _websites_ which you visit using a _browser_. Before that, the Internet existed, but there were no websites and no browsers.

The Internet is the _data_transport_medium_ through which the browsers and web servers communicate. The Internet has other uses beside the WWW. For example, e-mail and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) use the Internet, and are not the WWW.

So don't confuse the Internet and the WWW. They are very different beasts, even though they are related, in that the WWW as we know it needs the Internet to function.
Kafpauzo
not rated yet Sep 09, 2012
Tim Berners-Lee is wrong. My old cable modem looked like this:

http://hfc-eng.ve..._700.jpg

Considering the dire consequences for the whole world, I was always very, very careful never to touch that rightmost button.
baudrunner
not rated yet Sep 09, 2012
Internet has no 'off switch', says web inventor
In other words: "Keep on truckin'!"