Google is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the web with a guest post on the official Google Blog by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web. Berners-Lee briefly recounts how he came to invent the web and makes an impassioned plea for governments across the globe to reject censorship and adopt an official digital bill of rights that guarantees open and free access to the web for everyone. He envisions a world where no one is without access to the internet.
So today is a day to celebrate. But it’s also an occasion to think, discuss—and do. Key decisions on the governance and future of the Internet are looming, and it’s vital for all of us to speak up for the web’s future. How can we ensure that the other 60 percent around the world who are not connected get online fast? How can we make sure that the web supports all languages and cultures, not just the dominant ones? How do we build consensus around open standards to link the coming Internet of Things? Will we allow others to package and restrict our online experience, or will we protect the magic of the open web and the power it gives us to say, discover, and create anything? How can we build systems of checks and balances to hold the groups that can spy on the net accountable to the public? These are some of my questions—what are yours?
On the 25th birthday of the web, I ask you to join in—to help us imagine and build the future standards for the web, and to press for every country to develop a digital bill of rights to advance a free and open web for everyone. Learn more and speak up for the sort of web we really want with #web25.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee is certainly not alone in wanting access to the web for all. Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, often speak about this. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Tesla founder Elon Musk have all discussed this issue. Facebook recently acquired Titan Aerospace and according to rumors the reason is to use their drone technology to put flying wireless hotspots over places like rural Africa. The fact that the most powerful Internet companies on earth all share Berners-Lee’s vision means it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a reality.