Internet has no off switch - inventor

London - Tim Berners-Lee, the British inventor of the world wide web, 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 countries 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 digital information.

"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 social impact 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, Burkina Faso and Benin.

Berners-Lee, who was honoured during the London Olympics 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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JD Koekemoer 2012-09-06 08:22:44 AM
Eh sorry Juliass, you can't go switching the internet off.
ryan.annandale.50 2012-09-06 09:18:34 AM
Robert 2012-09-06 09:52:33 AM
Internet is perceived by many governments as a threat that erodes their ability to implement and enforce their ideologies and thus their political ambitions. A tool that obstructs control. Hopefully we may yet see the day that the power of the internet will emancipate humanity to the degree that it evolves a society free of national boundaries, and renders governance by politics superfluous and obsolete, perhaps driving us forward in a manner befitting this technological achievement.