Locking the Web open: A decentralized web that can operate as free software does
30 years after the World Wide Web was created, can we now make it better? How can we ensure that our most important values -- privacy, free speech, and free access to knowledge -- are enshrined in the code itself? In a provocative call to action, entrepreneur and libre Internet advocate Brewster Kahle challenges us to build a better, decentralized Web based on new distributed technologies. Web site content and code could be served peer-to-peer, with decentralized pseudonymous identity, and even payment models. What a world it could be! He lays out a path to creating a new Web that is reliable, private, but still fun -- in order to lock the Web open for good.
Brewster Kahle is a passionate advocate for public Internet access, and a successful entrepreneur, and he has spent his career intent on a singular focus: providing Universal Access to All Knowledge. He is the founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive, one of the largest libraries in the world. Soon after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied artificial intelligence, Kahle helped found the company Thinking Machines, a parallel supercomputer maker. In 1989, Kahle created the Internet's first publishing system, called Wide Area Information Server (WAIS), later selling the company to AOL. In 1996, Kahle co-founded Alexa Internet, which helps catalog the Web, selling it to Amazon.com in 1999. The Internet Archive, which he founded in 1996, now preserves 50 petabytes of data: the books, Web pages, music, television, and software of our cultural heritage, working with more than 600 library and university partners to create a digital library, accessible to all.