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Online Freedom Under ThreatDr. Paul Balles Salem-News.com
I hope we will use the Net to cross barriers and connect cultures.--Tim Berners-Lee
(MANAMA, Bahrain) - On November 23rd, 2013, British inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, warned that "Internet surveillance by British and US spying agencies has posed a threat to online freedom and the future of democracy."
Describing the activities by the US and UK spying agencies as “dysfunctional and unaccountable,” Berners-Lee spoke of the importance of protecting whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden.
If you started using the internet within the last 20 years, you probably haven't heard much about Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the World Wide Web.
In March 1989, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal to his boss at CERN for a new kind of “information management” system. His boss called it “vague but interesting,”
According to the Internet hall of fame (IHF), over the next few years, the proposal spawned the Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP, the basis for the World Wide Web.
"The major concern is always that some large organization gets to control the net, whether it’s a country or a corporation,” Berners-Lee says.
“But over the last few years, the public in general have become much more aware of this issue. I used to feel I was alone in a void saying: ‘You have to make sure no one controls the internet.’ But not anymore.”
The activity on the internet that depends on the web we now take for granted. One can't help wondering what the internet would be like today without Microsoft or Apple software dependence on the web.
The web has taken the use of the internet from plain black and white text to an impressive mixture of graphics and text. The web enables users to find documents on the internet that contain a variety of formats, not only photos and graphics, but also audio and video.
Because the Web is so convenient for one to get the information one wants, it has become an indispensable friend to many users.
We can use it to connect every single person on Earth, giving people the ability, as users and contributors, to improve their lives and communities.
Think of the search tools, like Yahoo and Google, and the video programs as well as the social networking attraction of millions of users.
Berners-Lee's invention has advanced the means and tools of communication more than anything since the invention of the Gutenberg press.
Comments from Tim Berners-Lee that reflect some of his distinctive thoughts about the web provide a worthy tribute:
Without doubt, the Berners-Lee invention of the World Wide Web was the most consequential development in human communication since Gutenberg invented the Printing Press almost 600 years ago. Let’s keep it free.
Throughout his life as an educator, Dr. Paul J. Balles, a retired American university professor and freelance writer, has lived and worked in the Middle East for 40 years - first as an English professor (Universities of Kuwait and Bahrain), and for the past ten years as a writer, editor and editorial consultant.
He’s a weekly Op-Ed columnist for the GULF DAILY NEWS . Dr. Balles is also Editorial Consultant for Red House Marketing and a regular contributor to Bahrain This Month. He writes a weekly op-ed column for Akbar Al Khaleej (Arabic). He has also edited seven websites, including bahrainthismonth.com, womenthismonth.com
Paul has had more than 350 articles published, focusing on companies, personality profiles, entrpreneurs, women achievers, journalists and the media, the Middle East, American politics, the Internet and the Web, consumer reports, Arabs, diplomats, dining out and travel. Paul's articles on Salem-News.com are frank and enlightening. We are very appreciative of the incredible writings Dr. Balles has generated for our readers over the years, and we are very pleased to list him among our most valued contributors.
Indulging the hard subjects that keep the world divided is our specialty at Salem-News.com, and with writers like Dr. Paul Balles on our team, we amplify our ability to meet challenges and someday, will see the effects of this exist in context with a more peaceful and generally successful world.
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