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Communication > Democracy?

The WWW Turns 20. Whats Next?

On August 6th, 1991 the first website in history was launched by the British computer technician Tim Berners-Lee for the nuclear research facility CERN. 20 years later, there are more than 250 million websites and more than 2 billion internet users in the world, facing an upward trend.

Many scientists had a vision in the early days of the WWW: Human beings should be able to communicate and exchange information and data as they wish. Over two decades, this vision has inspired many groundbreaking innovations such as Wikis and Wikipedia, file sharing, blogs, forums and so-called social networks. But especially in the world of free software the tools for interaction and cooperation are constantly evolving and provide a breeding ground for new developments.

Communication creates cash and therefore companies are seeking to make profits by limiting access. Also countries are trying to deny people access for reasons of "state security". Unbiased, independent networks are in danger and commercialisation is nearing in huge strides. Tim Berners-Lee views these developments with great worry. Where will we be surfing in 2031?

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