Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Feb 2014 22:20 UTC
Internet & Networking

Speaking with Wired editor David Rowan at an event launching the magazine's March issue, Tim Berners-Lee said that although part of this is about keeping an eye on for-profit internet monopolies such as search engines and social networks, the greatest danger is the emergence of a balkanised web.

"I want a web that's open, works internationally, works as well as possible and is not nation-based," Berners-Lee told the audience, which included Martha Lane Fox, Jake Davis (AKA Topiary) and Lily Cole. He suggested one example to the contrary: "What I don't want is a web where the Brazilian government has every social network's data stored on servers on Brazilian soil. That would make it so difficult to set one up."

A government never gives up a power it already has. The control it currently has over the web will not be relinquished.

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It's not much of a social network if you can only find people there who you have manually added. You see, if it worked like that all the parties that wanted to see each other would always have to manually establish the connection first, and that kind of removes a lot of the "social" from it. Also, with large friend networks it would quickly become a major drag on the networks, what with hundreds or even thousands of connections.

When I try to find back an old connection, I typically type his or her name in Google and see if I can find him or her. I don't log in on facebook and check there, then log in on Google+ and check there, and then once again login on LinkedIn and check there.

I assume that on a social network, one typically wants some "public" information available for everyone and other information only available for people that are trusted. The public information would be discovered by search engines.

Isn't it like that nowadays too...? If you want to discover information about people that are more privacy-minded, you'll have to first manually establish a connection with those people?

"Ideally you would be able to find thousands of people or companies willing to host "social network" server.

And now your data would again be at the mercy of others.

I think you get me wrong. I basically want federation to work. That means that every individual can host his own server with his own data, or can create an account on someone else's (individual or company) server. But every individual is free to choose a server that he or she trusts. The same way that everyone is free to chose an email account on a server that you trust. You dislike Google, then you are free to chose an email account with Microsoft for example, or run your own email server. None of those options is gonna limit in any way who you can email to. (or actually, nowadays it can limit you because of the rules that companies like Google and Microsoft use to limit spam....)

Aside from that: right from the moment you share any piece of data with anyone, you are at the mercy of others. You can take all the precautions you want, but as soon as you send data out, you're at the mercy of others.

When you send email, you are at the mercy of the people that maintain that server you send the email too. The same goes for XMPP. Those servers can also contain software to collect information on you, even though you don't have an account in there. For example if you email a lot to people that do have a google or hotmail address....

The protocol is actually XMPP, not Jabber. Jabber is a misnomer.

Well... I think Jabber is the original name of the protocol, but you are right.

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