Today marks the 25th birthday of what has had a huge impact on the world and the way we all interact with one another. The immense success of the Internet really cannot be understated. The internet has quite literally shaped the way we access information and has very much shaped the modern globalised world. What has brought huge advantages however has also brought with it a deep and sinister breeding ground for criminals and terrorists. This has led many to ask questions as to wether the internet should be censored and more controlled.
The internet we know today was founded by the British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. Berners-Lee had been a software engineer for the European Nuclear research facility ‘CERN’ in Switzerland. His idea was to create a system of communication and information sharing between a network of computers. The ‘web’ that he created did just that – it enabled CERN employees to share information electronically. The ‘web’ not to be confused with the internet (which had already been available for a good few years), was a means of being able to link together web pages and allow users to navigate between them. The ‘web’ that Berners-Lee created is basically how we known the internet today.
Following Berners-Lee’s initial proposal he went on to design both the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). He also created the worlds first web browser – WorldWideWeb. Obviously the web was a massive success when in 1993 CERN unleashed it on the world. The rest is history.
One of the biggest problems facing the web today is wether it should be allowed to remain completely free and open. Berners-Lee himself is a passionate proponent of keeping it this way and argues further legislation is required to keep it independent from intrusive government agencies such as GCHQ and the NSA. Time will tell wether this happens and we will have to wait and see what direction the internet takes.
The internet has become so much more accessible to us all. Gone have the days of needing a desktop computer with an internet connection to surf the web. Now we can all access it from wherever we are in the world from our smartphones and tablets. One thing is for sure – The internet has had an enormous impact on all of our lives and will continue to evolve with modern technologies and ideas and influence the way we engage with the world.
Source: the guardian & the verge.