Exclusive: Tim Berners-Lee tells us his radical new plan to upend the World Wide Web
This week, Berners-Lee will launch Inrupt, a startup that he has been building, in stealth mode, for the past nine months. Backed by Glasswing Ventures, its mission is to turbocharge a broader movement afoot, among developers around the world, to decentralize the web and take back power from the forces that have profited from centralizing it. In other words, it's game on for Facebook, Google, Amazon. For years now, Berners-Lee and other internet activists have been dreaming of a digital utopia where individuals control their own data and the internet remains free and open. But for Berners-Lee, the time for dreaming is over.
"We have to do it now," he says, displaying an intensity and urgency that is uncharacteristic for this soft-spoken academic. "It's a historical moment." Ever since revelations emerged that Facebook had allowed people's data to be misused by political operatives, Berners-Lee has felt an imperative to get this digital idyll into the real world. In a post published this weekend, Berners-Lee explains that he is taking a sabbatical from MIT to work full time on Inrupt. The company will be the first major commercial venture built off of Solid, a decentralized web platform he and others at MIT have spent years building.
If all goes as planned, Inrupt will be to Solid what Netscape once was for many first-time users of the web: an easy way in. And like with Netscape, Berners-Lee hopes Inrupt will be just the first of many companies to emerge from Solid.
[...] [On] Solid, all the information is under his control. Every bit of data he creates or adds on Solid exists within a Solid pod–which is an acronym for personal online data store. These pods are what give Solid users control over their applications and information on the web. Anyone using the platform will get a Solid identity and Solid pod. This is how people, Berners-Lee says, will take back the power of the web from corporations.
How does Solid compare to Tor, I2P, Freenet, IPFS, Diaspora, etc.?
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(Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 01 2018, @03:40AM (1 child)
That attitude is exactly the problem. Why do you think they are mutually exclusive? In fact they're amalgamated and the former enables the latter. It's not by accident CIA made google. Just look it up if that sounds fantastical to you...
(Score: 2) by bobthecimmerian on Monday October 01 2018, @11:45AM
I don't believe the CIA 'made' Google. But I'm sure they're joined at the hip now.
I agree with your point, though. Any form of centralized service will be an easy target for government overreach. A government could go after every NextCloud and Sandstorm and Wordpress and freedombox server hosted in their country, but it would take a lot of effort. Compare that to showing up at Google, Facebook, or Microsoft with a national security letter and a court order for them to keep it quiet.