World Wide Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee has called for the internet to remain an open and equal platform, and said that any moves towards tiered traffic delivery should be resisted in order to ensure continued innovation and development.
Berners-Lee explained at Nokia World 2010 in London that the underlying network infrastructure of the web needs to remain unaltered to stop large firms dominating content delivery.
"There are lots of businesses out there that would like to make their sites load faster than rivals', or governments that would love to be able to restrict or slow down access to certain sites for political reasons, but the moment you let go of net neutrality you lose the web as it is," he said.
"You lose the ability for any innovator to think of any idea, set up a web site and let it take off, turn into a business and then make a profit. It was this set up that has driven the development of the internet from the beginning. "
Another area of concern is privacy, and Berners-Lee said that the increasing amount of personal data being exposed by mobile applications demands the creation of better systems for ensuring that information remains secure and that companies are accountable for this data.
"Sometimes users don't realise what information they are giving away, and it's all about reaching a balance between how many hoops we want users to go through to ensure they realise what data about themselves they are revealing," he said.
Berners-Lee also believes that the next stage of the internet's growth will come from putting raw data online to help the developer community create applications and programs that use this data effectively for mobile users.
"We now need to get more data on the web. This will be very relevant to mobile use as new applications will be able to stream more data. If apps that use this data flourish, there will be more incentive for other organisations to put their data online too," he said.
"All sorts of data could be used, such as open street map information or scientific data, that could be used to create more location-aware services that use augmented reality to provide more information."
Berners-Lee noted work by the UK government in pushing forward innovation on the web, recounting that it was over lunch with Gordon Brown that he convinced the former prime minister that the government could get more from the internet by making its data available.
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