Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He personally launched the first Web site on Christmas day, 1990.
This week, he told the media in England than the idea that a government could somehow switch off the Web is mythical. To do this would require coordination of all governments.
“The way the internet is designed is very much as a decentralised system. 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.”
Ain’t gonna happen. Governments do not cooperate in this way. There is too much jealousy. There is too much turf protecting.
This means that the Web is out of control of the bureaucrats in any one nation. There will be liberty somewhere else. A government agency is hard-pressed to shut down one site. If the site has a server off-shore, a bureaucracy can do little.
There are frequent rumors about an imminent shut-down of the Internet. This is nonsense. Ignore all such rumors.
Every day that business switches to the Web, it becomes less possible for a government to close it. The tax consequences would be too great. Revenues would fall.
Web users would target politicians who called for a shut-down. They would back down or else lose the next election. No politician is going to do this.
The bureaucrats will push for regulation, but they cannot shut down the Web. They can barely regulate it. The Web keeps changing.
The pro-Internet voters can coordinate their opposition, and have. The governments of the world cannot coordinate a shut-down.