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article imageSir Tim Berners-Lee wins Turing Award for inventing the web

By James Walker     Apr 4, 2017 in Technology
Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been given the Turing Award, widely regarded to be the Nobel Prize of computing, for inventing the World Wide Web. He has publicly criticised government and corporate attempts to undermine the Internet's encryption and neutrality.
Berners-Lee has received the award in the 50th anniversary of its introduction. It comes with a $1 million prize attached provided courtesy of Google. The Association for Computing Machining (ACM), the body behind the award, recognised Berners-Lee for "inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the web to scale."
It goes without saying that Berners-Lee's work has defined the evolution of technology since. Industries and individuals across the world now rely on the Internet every day, using it without a thought for its creation or what it looked like in the beginning. Berners-Lee invented the web as a system scientists could use to share information. Initially, it was confined to a single campus but it later expanded across the world before going public.
"Iā€™m humbled to receive the namesake award of a computing pioneer who showed that what a programmer could do with a computer is limited only by the programmer themselves," Berners-Lee said today. "It is an honor to receive an award like the Turing that has been bestowed to some of the most brilliant minds in the world."
Among Berner-Lee's inventions are HTML, the mark-up language used to create the structure of web pages, and HTTP, the protocol responsible for negotiating interactions between web browsers and servers. The pair have long since outgrown websites and are both now used in apps, embedded devices and even cars to access and display information.
Berners-Lee has been critical of recent attempts to close off the web and erase its neutral status. In comments today, he again reiterated the need for the web to remain open to all. He described the U.K.'s recently introduced Investigatory Powers Act ā€“ a bill forcing Internet providers to store browsing history for six months ā€“ as "appalling." He also addressed concerns that the Trump government could order the FCC to devalue the concept of net neutrality, saying he'll fight the legislation "as hard as I can."
Berners-Lee is now working on a new form of the Internet that seeks to protect its decentralised nature. He is helping to create a system that could allow you to choose where your data is stored. Rather than trusting services to keep your information on their servers, social networks and retailers could read data from your PC or a source you control. People will be returned control of their data, something Berners-Lee expects to become more desirable in the next few years.
In accepting the award, the web's pioneer has once again reminded the world the Internet was conceived as an open place for everyone to participate in. Over the past decade, the balance has been eroded by increasingly massive software companies looking to "centralise" the web and put their traffic first.
Governments fearful of terrorists using secure messaging networks for communication have also added to the calls to close off the web, something Berners-Lee feels would destroy his work of the past 28 years. Although he created the software, the web's success has been down to how anyone can use it and create their own content. Without this characteristic, the web of today would be unrecognisably different.
More about World wide web, tim bernerslee, Sir Tim BernersLee, Internet, Net neutrality