Berners-Lee warns of privacy threat on the Web's 20th birthday

It was twenty years ago today: Tim Berners-Lee taught the band to play wrote up his "Information Management: A Proposal" paper and hatched the idea for the "Mesh," which on further review he'd decide to call the World-Wide Web. What started as a simple tool for managing the dataflow at CERN has become the most disruptive technology of our lifetime. If you're reading this, raise a glass -- but don't get too comfortable.

If you've never taken a look at the document that set it all off, you should -- there's even a little diagram that reminds you of what flow charts looked like before Powerpoint. (Scroll down.) Terms like VAX and hypercard and uucp are used, which should make all the old guard around here feel sort of happy and nostalgic. Making us all feel rather less happy and nostalgic is Sir Tim's address to Parliament this week, in which he warned that the looming loss of privacy thanks to Internet tech would mean more than just privacy lost: "We must not snoop on the internet... What is at stake is the integrity of the internet as a communications medium."

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