Happy 50th Birthday: As the internet turns 50, we must protect it as a force for good

Neighborhoods in a network. It is very difficult to develop more than general conceptions of such large networks based on visualized topology, and aggregated statistics tend to be the better route.

From the World Wide Web Foundation:

On October 29, 1969, the internet era began as UCLA Computer Science Professor Len Kleinrock sent the first message on ARPANET, a network of computers that would evolve to become the internet.

Five decades later, and 30 years since the World Wide Web brought the internet into the mainstream, global digital connectivity has fundamentally changed our world.

Marking the anniversary, our founder and inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, said:

“It’s astonishing to think the internet is already half a century old. But its birthday is not altogether a happy one. The internet — and the World Wide Web it enabled — have changed our lives for the better and have the power to transform millions more in the future. But increasingly we’re seeing that power for good being subverted, whether by scammers, people spreading hatred or vested interests threatening democracy.

“A year ago, I called for a new Contract for the Web, bringing together governments, companies and citizen groups to come up with a clear plan of action to protect the web as a force for good. In a month’s time that plan will be ready. This birthday must mark the moment we take on the fight for the web we want.”

We urgently need an ambitious, coordinated effort to tackle the threats facing the internet and the web, and make sure that everyone is able to access the benefits of digital technology. Next month, we’ll publish the Contract for the Web — a plan created by experts and individuals from across the world to make sure our online world is safe, empowering and genuinely for everyone.

To find out more about the Contract for the Web and to add your voice, visit http://contractfortheweb.org.

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