No such thing as an Internet “kill switch”

Web inventor denies ‘off-switch’ – Yahoo! News UK.

The inventor of the world wide web has denied there is an “off-switch” which could turn off the internet across the globe.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who launched the web on Christmas Day 1990, said the only way the internet could ever be entirely shut down is if governments all over the world co-ordinated to make it a centralised system.

It comes after moves by the Egyptian government last year to suppress use of the web led to speculation that the Hosni Mubarak regime had found a kill switch for the internet.

Speaking at the launch of the first ever global league table classifying countries which put the web to work best, the 57-year-old computer scientist said: “The way the internet is designed is very much as a decentralised system. At the moment, because countries connect to each other in lots of different ways, there is no one off-switch, there is no central place where you can turn it off.

Tip: Fortean Times

Berners-Lee notes that the internet is decentralized. Any move to make it centralized should be strongly rejected. One of Doubtful News’ favorite personalities, Stephen Fry, also made an appearance at this conference where he emphasized the the importance of the internet as a free exchange of ideas.

So, conspiracy theorists, the internet has no overall kill switch. But, be wary and critical of those specific governments that do indeed limit engagement of their citizens with the open internet. That, says Mr. Fry, is “inexcusable”.

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