Tim Berners-Lee: Keep the web open

In his keynote presentation at IP Expo Europe 2014 in London, Tim Berners-Lee reiterated why the web must remain open.

The web is under constant pressure to change and adapt. 

On the commercial side, there are wall garden services such as for video streaming or social media, that hide their content behind login screens.

On the other hand, governments are trying to legislate around the web, while ISPs may try to throttle content to gain a commercial advantage.

But  Berners-Lee says: "It was because the internet had been designed so cleanly to allow anything to be built on top of it, and it was decentralised, I could just develop the web without asking anyone's opinion."

It is this premise that has allowed the web to take off and evolve to where it is today. He says: "It is hard work keeping it open. It is a platform. You can do whatever you want.If you want to build a new website, you don't have to come to me."

Some people argue the only way to protect the web is to make a walled garden of safe content, but Berners-Lee disagrees. "The world I see is predicated on an open neutral network," he said.

While the web is often criticised for being insecure, he argues it would not have succeeded if security was watertight.

View All Videos