Tim Berners-Lee has been knighted for creating the World Wide Web (does anyone ever use the first two Ws anymore?) and I couldn’t be more in agreement. While the title was originally for an armored soldier, it’s been a ceremonial title for the past few hundred years. It conveys a great sense of respect for the recipient, although sometimes it seems like they’ll let just anyone in.
This got me thinking, “What if Tim Berners-Lee were an old school knight?” What dragons are there for him to slay? Would he use his power to get the Semantic Web accepted, or is there something bigger? Maybe Berners-Lee’s dragon is the end of a free Internet.
Every day the Internet’s openness is more and more at risk from corporations and governments. Things like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Digital Rights Management, cable modem routers and unequal upload and download speeds are tightening a grip on the Internet. John Walker has an amazingly well written essay on the anatomy of this dragon and what will happen if (or when) it wins. I know it’s long, but it’s worth reading. Wired has a battle plan to slay the dragon.
Maybe I’ll sleep a little easier if I pretend that there is an armored knight carrying a sword, riding a horse, sworn to protect the honor of the Internet. Maybe someday the Internet won’t need a knight to protect it.


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