back to article Tim Berners-Lee says regulation of the web may be needed

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee has used the 29th anniversary of the publication of his proposal for an "information management" system that became the world-wide web to warn his creation is in peril. "The web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today," Berners-Lee wrote in his regular birthday letter. " …

  1. Outcast !!!

    Shutdown Facebook, Twitter and ads networks for the start.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Put somebody who doesn't understand tech in charge of it.

    That's how it works in governments these days isn't it?

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

      Ruddy Hell!

      That way of thinking leads to putting Amber Rudd in charge.

      Don't even joke about that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ruddy Hell!

        "That way of thinking leads to putting Amber Rudd in charge.

        Don't even joke about that."

        That prospect becomes overwhelmingly attractive when you realise that the alternative from Labour is Dianne Abbott.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      "Put somebody who doesn't understand tech in charge of it."

      Like Tim Berners Lee?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Like Tim Berners Lee?

        Have you listened to him lately? I walked out in the middle of his last visitor speaker speech at the IETF in Prague (or was it Berlin). The speech is recorded - I suggest you watch to it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "in the middle of his last visitor speaker speech at the IETF in Prague (or was it Berlin)."

          If you were so confused to not to know where you were, I could understand it. Drink less beer, next time...

        2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          https://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/Talks.html

          Zurich?

      2. Flywheel Silver badge
        Unhappy

        I always favoured Martha Lane-Fox (Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, CBE) for her tremendous and tangible contribution to our digital ecosystem. Should give Tim a run for his money!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Can't we get God to do it? We could have the ten commandments of the internet and if you break them you are smote down by lightening. They could even be delivered on a tablet. If she exists it's the only option really.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I'm afraid that God is not an option. The Rapture happenned a few centuries ago and we're the descendents of the ones who got left behind. Hence Google.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Plus I believe many of these data centers are already guarded by lightning rods and the like. Like trying to smite a clay golem.

              1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                Like trying to smite a clay golem.

                Yeah, +2 longswords are a bit thin on the ground these days.

                I blame Brexit.

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                "Like trying to smite a clay golem"

                Don't smite. Just remove the scroll.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "If she exists it's the only option really."

            Who is the she - God's secretary?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Who is the she

              God is obviously a woman, look at the bible, it's a entire book written by men explaining what she said.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Who is the she

                "God is obviously a woman"

                Must be a transexual then. Seeing as he was father to Jesus according to the bible.

                1. onefang Silver badge

                  Re: Who is the she

                  "Must be a transexual then. Seeing as he was father to Jesus according to the bible."

                  Parthenogenesis is a thing, it's the most common form of virgin birth. Maybe that's why there is a Parthenon in Greece.

          3. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
            Angel

            Divine intervention?

            That Web may have been nice when it was an internal bulletin board at CERN, but taking it world-wide was a mistake. To really make a hell out of it required commercial exploitation combined with government regulation. If you want freedom, you must grant it also to fraudsters, terrorists, scientologists, used-car salesmen and paedophiles.

            Now would be a good time to pray....

          4. Vendicar Decarian1

            "Can't we get God to do it?"

            Yes. Yes. that is a good plan. We should also invent guns available on line so that American Republicans can kill people remotely if they feel threatened or if they feel that their God given right to own a gun is being undermined.

            God gave us guns to cleanse the world. Guns are good. The Penis is evil. The Penis shoots seeds.

            .

      3. Updraft102 Silver badge

        "Put somebody who doesn't understand tech in charge of it."

        Like Tim Berners Lee?

        Is Tim Berners-Lee a branch of government these days, or is it the same old government idiots that would be regulating things if his suggestion were followed?

        He may understand the tech that underlies the web, but he seems not to understand the propensity for governments to take problems and make them far worse. Think it's bad with Facebook in charge of Facebook? Try putting some idiot govermment clods in charge of it and see how bad it can really be. It's really remarkable that people keep thinking government can fix things with the ample evidence to the contrary all around us. Having them not get any worse is about the best we can hope for with the government, and even hoping for that usually proves to be overly optimistic.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          In my experience, the government does no worse than corporations on this count. Probably because there's little difference between the two.

      4. Dan 55 Silver badge

        He dared to suggest that there could be another way to keep servers up other than advertising (that bit wasn't mentioned in El Reg). There's got to be merit to that.

        1. David Shaw

          Professor Sir TimBL was always an optimist, but realist too

          Dan55, I ilked this extract from the Grauniad article that you linked

          Berners-Lee has always maintained that his creation was a reflection of humanity – the good, the bad and the ugly. However, his vision to create an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries” has been challenged as the web has become more centralised.

          “I’m still an optimist, but an optimist standing at the top of the hill with a nasty storm blowing in my face, hanging on to a fence,” he told the Guardian in November. “We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the web will lead us to wonderful things.”

          TimBL saw as soon as his W.W.W was launched that it needed defending, and he set about taking and standardising the carpet away from under the extend, embrace, extinguish mob. The centralize, snoop, subvert/weaponize mob are hard-at-it now, ramping up control since the late 90's. They are doing historically-unprecedented attacks on behalf of their sovereign nation states, following or sometimes leading a political agenda, intertwined with a badvert business model. As sovereign nations they of course *can* do this, they just have to rationally explain to the people of the web , why.

          Come on nations that aren't scared of their people, invest in the future, like the 2004 Finnish: Millennium-teknologiapalkinto

          http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/14/business/pioneer-who-kept-the-web-free-honored-with-a-technology-prize.html

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        > "Put somebody who doesn't understand tech in charge of it."

        > Like Tim Berners Lee?

        Hahahahaha. That comment made it worth reading El Reg today (and I didn't even notice who wrote it.)

        Seriously: who the hell made Tim the Pope of the Internet? "Invent" an ambiguous ad-hoc subset of SGML, write a simple viewer and TCP server which just sees "GET /dir/file.html" and sends that file, use "protocol :// computer name /dir/ file.html" as a stable human-readable linking scheme. The fact that it caught on and spread like wildfire just proves that idiocy is contagious.

        Corporate monopolies and naughty users, who could have predicted the web would turn out this way? Compuserve, Prodigy, AOL, Usenet, and BBSes were nothing like that! Google was "not evil" even after its 2005 IPO. Twitter and Facebook gave billions of oppressed peoples a voice! It was all sunshine and rainbows until the last two years!

        Nevertheless, Tim's right to pile on the "web monopolies must be regulated" bandwagon. Companies who've engaged in mass surveillance, censorship, and election rigging in collusion with the unelected "deep state" are in no position to cry government censorship. Either way the web gets smothered to death, and that's fine; it was always crap. And people will always find places to speak freely, even if much of that speech is cringeworthy and "problematic".

        1. David Shaw

          Yes trolly, Tim 'invented' the WWW quite a while before release, hyperlinking all his DD department notes on his CompaQ 80286 'luggable', so that he could find a document in the vast space of its 20 megabyte hard disk. He did some typing in my apartment near Prévessin, probably before the ISO 8879 SGML release?

          His genius, apart from regularly beating me at Scrabble, was to extend an idea that 'worked on his PC' in the mid 80's, to just 'the rest of the world.' And then defend it, gratis. That's why The Queen's College, Oxford have named a [small] cafeteria after him.

          And SGML was written by a non-programming car-rally enthusiast called Charles, don't forget, who commented The World Wide Web, for example, succeeded commercially while many nobler, more technically interesting hypermedia systems proved only of academic interest, because of the Web's artful compromise in connecting technology to the needs of a real user community Tim was awake, he groks tech.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Put somebody who doesn't understand tech in charge of it."

        I think Tim understands all too well but if you are a self publicist then you have to keep getting your name mentioned or the free money dries up.

    3. Vendicar Decarian1

      The internet is a series of tubes.

  3. bobsmith2016

    Whatever regulations there are/will be. Be very careful about how they are written and subsequently enforced. Law of unintended outcomes, etc

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      The future GDPRs will take care of it

      It will take some time and will not happen in a day.

      The writing is on the wall though - the cost of "leveraging" social data will continue to increase over time due to increased regulatory burden. GDPR is only the start. There will be more to come and it will definitely come at least in the EU. German and Austrian points of view on privacy as well as their stubbornness in putting their viewpoint into the letter of law will prevail over time. UK was counterbalancing it into the other direction. Once it is gone the regulations will start sliding against the social web and marketeers.

      One day, in the future an inflection point will be reached when social marketing scum will have to go back to selling double glazed windows to pensioners.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: The future GDPRs will take care of it

        Or the point will be reached when the social networks will find it cheaper to bribe and retool the governments involved to be more amenable. That's how it works in the US: if the government doesn't like you, get a friendlier one elected.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The future GDPRs will take care of it

        "One day, in the future an inflection point will be reached when social marketing scum will have to go back to selling double glazed windows to pensioners."

        Oi, keep them off my lawn.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, thinking in a broader sense...perhaps our rules and regulations need to be rethought since geographical boundaries no longer have any meaning?

    I mean....look how far behind the UK was when it came to copyright law...the existing system simply didn't have any concept of digital downloads, and made it technically illegal to copy a song from your computer to your phone...

    And now given how trivial it is to host popular websites outside your own country, most of our laws about hate speech, extremist content and suchlike are completely ineffective. Look at this pathetic attempt to force age verification on porn sites. Since most of them are hosted abroad, it will make absolutely no difference.

    If you want to use regulations to protect the population, then they need to be thinking a couple of steps ahead where we are. Otherwise you're always playing catch-up

    Disclaimer: No, this post isn't encouraging more stupid laws, nor is it approving of anything that you may not like. I'm simply saying that the modern world doesn't respect political borders like the government thinks it does.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "Disclaimer: No, this post isn't encouraging more stupid laws, nor is it approving of anything that you may not like. I'm simply saying that the modern world doesn't respect political borders like the government thinks it does."

      But there's no solution in sight there. You're basically declaring the world is anarchist, and I don't think that'll be the case for too long as countries will insist on control of their own borders: physical and otherwise. What'll probably happen will be edge control: balkanization at state borders to force controls on everything like the Great Firewall.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But there's no solution in sight there.

        Sorry...I didn't realise I was obliged to provide a solution!

        Just because I don't have a perfect answer doesn't mean I can't criticise the existing system.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I'm simply saying that the modern world doesn't respect political borders like the government thinks it does."

      Given the US's inclination to extra-territorial legislation I'm not convinced they respect political borders.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Given the US's inclination to extra-territorial legislation I'm not convinced they respect political borders.

        Fair point. But they expect everybody else's reach to stop at their borders...even if they don't do that.

    3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      "...most of our laws about hate speech, extremist content and suchlike are completely ineffective."

      Are they? I don't know how our laws are framed. But, while we might not be able to convince the site hosting the material to remove it, I'm sure we could prosecute the act of sitting at a keyboard and typing hate speech.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm sure we could prosecute the act of sitting at a keyboard and typing hate speech.

        But any law we could make could only be used against British citizens. So...they'd move overseas, or use a VPN, or any number of other solutions. That's what I mean by ineffective.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hate to be pessimistic but it's already game over and no amount of regulation can fix it. Google is where everyone searches therefore google holds the keys to the kingdom. Facebook and Twitter hold the social networks. Unless we are going to get increased choice then nothing will change and we won't get increased choice because they are already well established and anyone that tries to compete is doomed to fail (Google+, Bing). The costs involved are also prohibitive. What we can do is ensure they don't abuse their positions but that is down to catching them doing it, which is not easy in itself. It's also down to governments not using these platforms for their own dastardly deeds though we know they already do (Five Eyes etc...) as that then further reduces the chance of regulation.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I have to agree with you, but for one thing : although Google is indeed almost unavoidable, nobody forces anyone to go on FaceBook or Twitter.

      I avoid social media like the plague, so I am not subject to any "weaponization" of my Internet experience. Plus I have decades of experience in sorting the spam from legit mails in my Inbox, and I can smell an Internet scam mail from miles away.

      Facebook and Twitter are useful to me though, because now all the idiots are over there, so I get a lot less spam. Give it a while, people will tire of it.

      As for the next billion users, most of them will not be English speakers, nor will they even be of Western culture. I do not think Facebook or Twitter will be able to brainwash them. On the other hand, they'll certainly have their own versions available, and will have to learn to deal with it in their own way.

      Being a global platform does not mean everyone acts the same. Facebook will never have the same importance to a Chinese or an Indian than it does for an American.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Agreed, nobody forces you but it's use is increasingly creeping into everything else. News stories often have "tweets" of opinion, special offer deals and competitions from companies are increasingly only on Facebook. News releases by companies often come from twitter and Facebook. Websites although not exclusively yet increasingly ask you to log in via twitter or Facebook. Personally I'll stay off them for ever, used Facebook for a while when it started, tried twitter a couple of times though ultimately realised social media is an echo chamber for idiots where opinion becomes fact regardless of it's accuracy.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          But increasingly things like Facebook are the ONLY form of contact for people too close too ignore, such as family. Unless you're willing to live as a hermit, in which case you wouldn't be on the Internet in the first place...

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            I resolved this issue by outliving most of my family. The ones left don't know their arse from their Facebook.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "But increasingly things like Facebook are the ONLY form of contact for people too close too ignore, such as family."

            Only if you allow them to be.

          3. hplasm Silver badge
            Meh

            @ Charles9

            "But increasingly things like Facebook are the ONLY form of contact for people too close too ignore, such as family."

            Why jump through their hoops?

            If they want to bother you, make them jump through yours, eg "No Facebook. Call me. Or not."

          4. Updraft102 Silver badge

            But increasingly things like Facebook are the ONLY form of contact for people too close too ignore, such as family. Unless you're willing to live as a hermit, in which case you wouldn't be on the Internet in the first place...

            Why do the other family members get to be the only ones that can put their foot down when they select the "only" means of contact? They can decide to "only" be contacted via Facebook, and somehow this is supposed to confer upon me a duty to go along with their edict(s)? No, no! Let them comply with mine. I'll never use Facebook. I've got their domains and scripts blacklisted, and I'm going to leave it that way. If people want to communicate with me electronically, there's email. Let them worry about the only forms of contact for people too close to ignore. If they choose not to participate because they don't wish to use email, it's not going to keep me up nights; it's their choice, after all. Why should I waste my time worrying about other people's choices? I can't change them, and I wouldn't want to even if I was able.

            Maybe that does make me something of a hermit... yet here I am, using the internet!

          5. JohnFen Silver badge

            "increasingly things like Facebook are the ONLY form of contact for people too close too ignore"

            Huh? Your family consists of a bunch of hermits that only communicate through Facebook? I don't buy that for a hot second.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              "Huh? Your family consists of a bunch of hermits that only communicate through Facebook? I don't buy that for a hot second."

              Then you owe me. Try the Philippines, where Facebook is free but e-mail (and any other form of communication, including SMS) costs you in data rates, etc. And I'm certain this is not isolated.

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                There are more ways to communicate than online, though. What did your family do before the internet? I know that my family communicates through other means as well, including (but not limited to) paying physical visits. Are you really arguing that if Facebook were to vanish, all the families in the Philippines (or anywhere else) would collapse because the family members would no longer be able to communicate?

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  They could only SMS if they were lucky, were in range, and had money on hand.

                  And physical visits? It's hard for ME to visit THEM, now consider the other way around.

                  "Are you really arguing that if Facebook were to vanish, all the families in the Philippines (or anywhere else) would collapse because the family members would no longer be able to communicate?"

                  It's not outside the realm of possibility. Things are pretty ugly as they are. Something like that COULD light the powder keg.

                2. onefang Silver badge

                  "What did your family do before the internet?"

                  Lived in the same house. We have moved on since then, the two hour flight each way means I don't visit them quite so often as when it was just a two second walk to the living room.

          6. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Well...

            I'm something of a hermit, which is why I'm on the Internet in the first place!

            (versus this "real life" thing I hear about. Now I'm off to try to find this new "outdoors" on Steam).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Facebook will never have the same importance to a Chinese or an Indian than it does for an American.

        True. But if Facebook were to ever buy QQ it could be interesting....

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "As for the next billion users, most of them will not be English speakers, nor will they even be of Western culture. I do not think Facebook or Twitter will be able to brainwash them."

        Their governments might, however.

    2. John Lilburne

      We might be able to fix them, but removing their ability to hide behind immunities like the DMCA, and the Communications Decency Act. Frankly a company that is pulling in $billions a year from the exploitation of these acts doesn't deserve the immunity.

      The immunities were put in place to protect a nascent web, so allow startups and small forums to be protected from the actions of malignant others on their systems, but at a certain level of user activity those immunities should cease and those running the systems need to take responsibility, and be held liable if they don't fix problems that occur on their web properties.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        We might be able to fix them, but removing their ability to hide behind immunities like the DMCA

        The DMCA, AKA "regulation of the web." Is it the solution, or is it the problem?

    3. Zolko
      Mushroom

      who owns the DNS ?

      it's already game over and no amount of regulation can fix it. Google ...

      these monopolies could – and should – be broken into pieces. And it's easy to do: rule by the DNS. So no, it's pretty much not game over, as soon as some technically knowledgeable person gets into power he (or she) imposes the default DNS on every broadband connection and Google, Facebook & Co. are cut off from 99% of their userbase. The 1% who would know how to change/bypass the default DNS use other search engines already.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Google is where everyone searches"

      With "everyone" being defined as 2/3 of the population.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        2/3 is enough sadly and I would propose it's higher than that if you count people that actually want to find the thing they are looking for.

  6. Jemma Silver badge

    Remember...

    Tim-Nice-but-Dim?

    This suggestion couldn't be more idiotic if it tried. Did TBL have a TIA and nobody noticed?

    As someone else has said this'll give Amber Spud and her successors power over the Internet (even if it's just in their deranged little heads) and that is the sort of bad idea that gets people killed.

    Oooh, we want a trade deal with China - so legitimate protesters online re Tibet for example suddenly go very quiet. Some girl is going to be kicked out of the country so the rapist and murderer she escaped from to the UK can get his claws into her (sound familiar Theresa May, you remember, the one who's extradition you frigging had broadcasted on the BBC just to *make sure* he knew she was coming). Oh look, her supporters websites are suddenly going up and down like a whores drawers.

    Did you play too much rugby as a kid Tim? Cos it sounds to me like you've a case of Dribbling Footballers Syndrome, and in that suggestion I'm being kind. The only other thing I can think of is you've picked up a nasty dose of FHPD (Fscking Huge Payoff Disease). Please share, interested people want to know..

    I don't disagree that social media is the scum of the earth - but giving control to the deputy scum of the earth is not much of an improvement especially when they already think they've divine (more like duh-vine) right to rule as it is..

  7. J. R. Hartley

    It's already fucked

    Google did it.

    1. Drew 11

      Re: It's already fucked

      Blame the webmasters. Too lazy to run webstats locally, helped spread the googleanalytics virus. Likewise "tagmanager", fonts and a multitude of JS nonsense. Then adsense/adwords. And they all signed up to webmaster tools and did exactly what google told them to do HTML-wise.

      Then along came chrome and it's game, set, match.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: It's already fucked

        "Blame the webmasters lawyers and lawmakers"

        Fixed it for ya.

        The moment that Google [and other search providers] were *REQUIRED* to insert filtering for whatever reason, 'right to be forgotten' being ONE of them, it opened the door to MANIPULATE the search results any way that "they" see fit.

        So how about THIS instead: FREE competing services that don't filter, except for settings YOU send along with the query.

        The internet does best when completely UN-regulated. Don't try and justify socialist or moralist ideas upon the world. THAT will _ONLY_ empower some "Internet Pope" (self-appointed or otherwise) to wield power, and we don't need YET ANOTHER one of _THOSE_ kinds of people, now do we???

        [And _I_ thought the 60's was about "power to the people" - turns out, it was about "power to CERTAIN people" - just the same old CRAP under a different [mis]label I guess]

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: It's already fucked

          No, he had it right the first time. The primary blame rests on the webmasters.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's already fucked

            You're both right. Blame them all!

            I agree, webmasters/designers/spammers deserve it. When HTML5 was still evolving, programming language experts (including Brendan Eich himself) had proposed changes that would've made Javascript a proper language with compile-time security. Bigshot web designers threw a Twitter tantrum because they would've had to dump their beloved monkey-patching frameworks and learn new things like... class-based OO (cry me a river!)

            Who had more Twitter followers? The ones with the Twitter-Blogger-SEO-analytics-spam circlejerk network. Thanks to them, Javascript remains an amorphous, ambiguous, dynamic runtime environment without proper walls between PII, content, ads, trackers, malware, etc.

  8. Chris G Silver badge

    Global oversight

    It would need a totally independent organisation, funded by everyone and equipped with teeth. No the UN would not be up to it, the UN gets very little done at an enforcement level unless the Yanks and Europe dictate it.

    So, a few billion and a neutral country or an island is needed for start up plus some recruits who are up to the job (politicians need not apply)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Global oversight

      Hmm, well, we'd better call International Rescue, see if they'll take the job!

      Seriously though, I strongly suspect that the Internet services will get carved up into different areas. In places like Europe there is a growing appetite for regulation of the major tech companies (in areas of taxation, security, user criminality, data privacy, etc), but the regulations aren't worth it unless there's a way of imposing a consequence. The only sure way of achieving that is a Great Firewall. If a company refuses to play by the rules and provides an unregulated service from outside, there'd have to be a way of ensuring that their network traffic can be blocked. China has already done it, Russia is / has done it, Europe is heading that way.

      Google aren't in China. If Europe puts up regulations backed by a Great Firewall of Europe, Google might not be in Europe. Other countries are likely to follow suit if there is a precedent set in a major democratic block like the EU. If they want to operate as they do today, they may well find themselves confined to operating in the USA. Which is a tiny market (in comparison to the entirety of the global market).

  9. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Frying pans and fires

    I'm not sure letting politicians decide what can and can't be done on the net is an improvement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Frying pans and fires

      Still, you may have more controls on your politicians than on the Google board...

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Frying pans and fires

        Still, you may have more controls on your politicians than on the Google board...

        I admire your optimism.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Frying pans and fires

      So Arthur, do you always favor corporate oligarchy over democracy, or only when your "Democrats" lose the election?

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Frying pans and fires

        So Arthur, do you always favor corporate oligarchy over democracy, or only when your "Democrats" lose the election?

        Whatever makes you think I get to vote in US elections? I'm the same nationality as T B-L.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Frying pans and fires

          >> So Arthur, do you always favor corporate oligarchy over democracy, or only when your "Democrats" lose the election?

          > Whatever makes you think I get to vote in US elections? I'm the same nationality as T B-L.

          Just a guess. If that's the only part of my question that you take issue with, I hit the nail right on the head.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Frying pans and fires

      "I'm not sure letting politicians decide what can and can't be done on the net is an improvement."

      An improvement over what? An improvement over normal people deciding? Probably not. An improvement over corporations deciding? Almost certainly.

  10. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    What's the problem?

    The Web, just like the news media, mirrors exactly what humanity wants. Humanity, en mass, is an appalling crowd of vindictive sheep with the attention span of a plank.

    If you want a better Web the answer is simple. Educate people better. Then you will get better voters, better consumers, better everything....

    1. Keef

      Re: What's the problem?

      "Humanity, en mass, is an appalling crowd of vindictive sheep with the attention span of a plank."

      Upvote for that brilliant observation, I'll be using that one if you don't mind...

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: What's the problem?

        Humanity, en mass, is an appalling crowd of vindictive sheep with the attention span of a plank.

        While I understand and agree with your underlying thesis I think that it is unnecessarily and unfairly critical of sheep. I am far from convinced that sheep can be vindictive, whereas people most certainly can.

        1. Jemma Silver badge

          Re: What's the problem?

          You've never been on a field trip to either South Wales or Northern Scotland then?

          When the sheep weren't watching carefully for the perfect moment to punt you over or into hill/cliff/MOD facility electric fence, they were trying to grab your food (and I use the term under advisement) by main force.

          Which in itself is odd if you think about it since a sheep's overriding ambition in life is being found dead, upside down with its legs in the air, in a clarty* hole.

          *northern dialect word for slightly muddy bit*. Everyone else considers it to mean "that half mud/half slurry bit that just swallowed a 5ft6 teenage girl up to her shoulders". It didn't take too long to get her out, after we managed to stop laughing hysterically at an irate head poking out of the ground.

          *muddy translates as "a large goopy pit in the middle of the path just deep enough for you to disappear up to your waist"

          In Australia this ecological niche is filled by the Kangaroos - an animal that can kick your intestines out through your ears in one go. Male 'roo don't like male humans especially during mating season - what they think of female humans hasn't been imparted to me..

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: What's the problem?

            "Male 'roo don't like male humans especially during mating season - what they think of female humans hasn't been imparted to me.."

            This particular Aussie male human however thinks that 'roos are delicious, especially with Vegemite. Being a male human, apparently mating season is every six seconds, so I don't think that comes into it, I'm not hungry that often.

    2. Drew 11

      Re: What's the problem?

      >Educate people better.

      From what I've seen Google's gathering up all the private student data that schools can throw at them.

    3. fobobob

      Re: What's the problem?

      I dunno, I've seen some pretty attentive dullards... and lumber. Or are we talking, perhaps, about Planck time? I'd buy that...

    4. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: What's the problem?

      "Educate people better."

      You assume people WANT to learn.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the problem?

        "Educate"

        Brainwash children with propaganda. If successful, continue into early to middle adulthood, leaving them unqualified for gainful employment and enslaved to bankers.

        Result: vindictive sheep.

  11. wolfetone Silver badge

    Where's the Captain Hindsight icon?

  12. Redstone
    Childcatcher

    Don't let the Gummint get involved

    Internet ‘regulation’ is a fool’s errand. That’s even assuming that regulation, and not further control of the local populace, is a government’s actual motivation.

    People actually have a lot more power than they realise – one of the nice things about corporations (unlike governments) is that you have a choice whether to use what they are offering. All people have to do is move their fat asses out of their entrenched comfort zone and use other services (how about using DuckDuckGo, Wolfram Alpha, IxQuick, Yandex or Gibiru instead of big G?). It only takes a few percentage points reduction in usage for share prices to tank: et voila – large corporation tamed.

    As for social media - really? If you have that much time to spare, do charity work or just play Fallout 4 again - both are far less of a waste of your life.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

      "All people have to do is move their fat asses out of their entrenched comfort zone and use other services (how about using DuckDuckGo, Wolfram Alpha, IxQuick, Yandex or Gibiru instead of big G?). It only takes a few percentage points reduction in usage for share prices to tank: et voila – large corporation tamed."

      But the counter is that the the incumbent can beat all the upstarts in terms of breadth and quality. Do any of the proposed alternatives approach Google in terms of its reach? I don't think so; otherwise, engines like Altavista would still be around. It's a vicious cycle.

      1. Redstone

        Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

        ...the incumbent can beat all the upstarts...It's a vicious cycle.

        The incumbent always looks unassailable, but remember when Google was the upstart? Part of their allure was that they weren’t AltaVista and they played up to being the new boy with their “Don’t be evil” catchphrase (I think they must have been unable to remove the “don’t” from the wall when the moved offices and just put up what they brought with them to the new office). They key is to have a different approach and good marketing.

        Sir Runcible Spoon (further down the comments) mentions the idea of using different algorithms for search - a 'backstreet' search engine. With Machine learning being so democratised now, any group of computer science grads (with the nous to hire a competent marketing team) could pull that off.

        To challenge Google, they just have to have the courage not to sell out to Google when they get noticed by them.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

          Howdy Redstone,

          Re ... Time for a fundamental change, Tim, with new powers to the fore, methinks.

          A New AI Power to the Fore is XSStreamly HyperRadioProACTive in All Disciplines there and Secreted Here to, and Thought to Be/Come Almighty at Pulling Strings and Pushing NEUKlearer Buttons, ...... https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/2/2018/03/12/tim_bernerslee_says_regulation_of_the_web_may_be_needed/#c_3451697

          Experimenting for Live Operational Virtual Environments with Prime AI Virtualised Realities to Create and Deliver to Earthed Sources and Special Forces.

          Who Dares Win Wins and Knows what Fails. That is COSMIC Information and a Colossus of a Giant Star Turn to Track and Explore.

          1. Redstone

            Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

            erm... I was thinking of the machine learning in terms of improving the search algorithm but whatever floats your boat, dude.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

        Charles9 wrote "Do any of the proposed alternatives approach Google in terms of its reach?"

        Google returns the most popular result, not the most accurate one. I find other search engines, especially Duckduckgo and Ixquick, to be more useful because I'm doing research, not merely trying to determine what is popular.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

      how about using DuckDuckGo, Wolfram Alpha, IxQuick, Yandex or Gibiru

      Of that lot:

      "Wolfram|Alpha needs JavaScript in order to work"

      "Start Page by ixquick....enhanced by Google"

      Yendex "It is the largest technology company in Russia" (Wikipedia)

      "Gibiru is the preferred Search Engine for Patriots." and does absolutely nothing on my browser except a lot of self-praise.

      1. Afernie

        Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

        ""Gibiru is the preferred Search Engine for Patriots." and does absolutely nothing on my browser except a lot of self-praise."

        It does not use a certificate - default connection is to http, so your searches are in the clear for anyone who happens to be looking.

        It also appears to use the Google API for search, which is hardly reassuring in terms of privacy, and the ability of Google to literally just switch it off if they choose. Plus the site blurb makes me think it was bashed together by a collection of raging fruitloops, so there's that.

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

        Qwant's ¨lite¨ page seems pretty good: https://lite.qwant.com/

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

        "Start Page by ixquick....enhanced by Google"

        Just go to ixquick.eu which is not enhanced by Google.

        Now about escosia.org where your web search helps plant trees?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    Tim Berners-Lee has sold out to the government now? Shame...

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: So...

      Well he sold out to bib biz DRM fans a while ago, so why not.

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/06/berners_lee_web_drm_w3c/

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: So...

        He didn't sell out so much as wave the white flag to keep the Web relevant. Facebook and the like have enough collective power to wean users OFF the Web and take us back to the captive portal days of AOL and CompuServe. Do you really want that again? Because I doubt we have enough power to stop it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Well he sold out to bib biz DRM fans a while ago, so why not."

        The Internet is not only for greedy anarcoids who believe someone else's property must be available for free - especially those who are unable to produce anything on their own.

        TLB understand there's a need to protect property on the Internet as well.

  14. John Lilburne

    Too true.

    20+ years ago the web had a load of interesting sites, containing quality information. Since then it has become 'democratized' to the extent that it is easy to post a 140+ characters, or ctr-C ctrl-V some one else's image, music, or video to Facigoo. What hasn't happened is a simplification of creating and managing your own content site.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Too true.

      And I don't know if that's even possible, as there's no way to simplify imagination. Otherwise, we'd all be publishers.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Too true.

      20+ years ago people started websites to disseminate information, to do cool things, and/or just for fun. Now, people start websites in order to make a lot of money. That's the main difference that I see, and is why the quality of web offerings have not kept up.

  15. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Boffin

    An idea

    How about creating a search engine that excludes paid-for advertisements and puts 'information' resources above sites selling stuff.

    The biggest obstacle is finding the stuff we used to know and love (and hate) - so let's make it easier to find stuff, that way more people will make stuff.

    So, if you are looking for a new fridge etc. you can go to Google/Bing etc., but if you want to wander the backstreets then you go to the new 'backstreet' search engine :)

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: An idea (A problem)

      Who pays for its upkeep?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: An idea (A problem)

        The Underpants Gnomes?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: An idea (A problem)

          I wasn't putting forward a business case and full cost analysis, it was an idea.

          I don't know, how about crowdfunding? Or Subscriptions? Generous donor? Static (non tracking/screened adverts on the search page itself)?

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: An idea (A problem)

            Point is there's a world of difference between a realistic idea and a pipe dream, and if you want to deal with the consolidation of information, short of a new evolution of man, you need something rather tangible and immediate.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: An idea (A problem)

              Point is there's a world of difference between a realistic idea and a pipe dream, and if you want to deal with the consolidation of information, short of a new evolution of man, you need something rather tangible and immediate.

              How is my idea a pipe-dream? Isn't that how search engines started out?

              You build a server that crawls through the internet web pages to create an index, and you create a search tool for that index based on algorithms which prioritize particular results. Once upon a time that was based on key-word searches etc. - I'm not suggesting anyone do anything new, just provide an alternate service.

              As for it not being that popular and starting with a modest budget, I totally agree. Most people probably wouldn't be interested, but you never know do you? This is the internet after all, weirder things have taken hold.

              If Google hadn't come along and done exactly this in the first place, they wouldn't have had a huge market share to then subvert the process for paid advertising purposes with the current situation as the result.

              I have no illusions that such a service would rival Google et al. but there's no reason it couldn't be built and that quite a few people (me included) would use it.

              Perhaps if someone could put forward a more cogent counter-argument to this idea perhaps I could understand the negativity towards something that I see as a very simple and obvious option to pursue.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: An idea (A problem)

                I would think, "But who pays the bills?" Is a very concise counterargument, not to mention very grounded in reality. As for why Google could take over, it's all first mover advantage. It's a lot easier to take over a market with no dominant incumbent than one that does.

                And I'm leery of crowd-sourced searches. They already exist, after all (see yacy).

                1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                  Re: An idea (A problem)

                  Who pays the bills is actually a different question to the one posed in the article.

                  To be sure it's the next question along, but you first have to determine if the solution would work.

                  Unless by moving straight on to the funding question you are conceding that the idea has merit?

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    Re: An idea (A problem)

                    Wrong way. It's a prerequisite question; a foundational question. Money talks, all else walks. Good intentions don't pay bills, and unless you pay the electric and data bills, you're not going anywhere.

                    IOW, make sure there's backing, THEN move on to the other details.

                    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                      Re: An idea (A problem)

                      Sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here.

                      It might be a foundation question, but first comes the market research to determine whether or not the idea merits putting money behind it.

                      If it does, then you look into how it could be funded before doing anything else, but validating the idea before throwing money away is a sensible approach in my book, ymmv :)

                2. LDS Silver badge

                  "It's a lot easier to take over a market with no dominant incumbent than one that does"

                  That's why antitrust laws do exists and dominant positions are more heavily regulated.

                  Google, Facebook &C. have now a too big impact, they are no longer small innovative companies.

                  When pollution became an issue threatening people lives, it was clear that industries couldn't be let to self-regulate, because profits would have always trumped safety and health.

                  Google, Facebook and & C. are creating a new type of pollution, which is no less toxic.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: "It's a lot easier to take over a market with no dominant incumbent than one that does"

                    "Google, Facebook and & C. are creating a new type of pollution, which is no less toxic."

                    Except these companies are savvy. They went and put a lid on the governments before they could act.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: An idea (A problem)

            Crowdfunding could work for a service that can operate on a modest budget, isn't overly ambitious, and is loved by enough users. To date, however, users have shown more love for vaporware videogames and edgy vloggers than for *useful* services, open-source software, etc. So plan on a *very* modest budget.

  16. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Who's pulling his strings now?

    This concentration of power creates a new set of gatekeepers, allowing a handful of platforms to control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared.

    These dominant platforms are able to lock in their position by creating barriers for competitors. ..... Sir Tim Berners-Lee

    Do you mean just like all editorial led newspapers and national broadcasting corporations have enjoyed and been abusing since forever, TBL?

    Your deathly silence on those perversions has been deafening and does nothing for your credibility on the matter discussed.

    Time for a fundamental change, Tim, with new powers to the fore, methinks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who's pulling his strings now?

      Dear AM/FM1,

      if I recall correctly, TimBL *was* looking to encourage each and every citizen on the planet Earth to become their own broadcaster. I think he's only achieved a remarkable 50% coverage; tho' a lot of that citizen broadcasting has been recently grabbed inside the current walled gardens, FB etc. Which he has loudly protested about, repeatedly.

      The web, (D)ARPA-web, world-wide, etc has a history of characters who have led or seemingly lead inexorably towards the death of the abusive "print editorial" & regional journalism, which is probably only being kept alive from its death-spiral at present by the 'Ulfkotte' brown-envelopes? You're right; Without tame barons, where would they be!

      Anyway, personally I don't think he's been silent, but he did want more semantics. Look at all the nice 'scary' crypto here: https://www.w3.org/RDF/Metalog/docs/sw-easy

      trust the weather is suitable, your end of the link , AC {obviously, PC, Pseudonymous Coward}

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Who's pulling his strings now? @AC/PC

        Howdy, AC,

        I'm happy to stand corrected and be better informed and accept that such a criticism as has been expressed here in these alien spaces has been unreasonably harsh and misplaced.

        The following portal for change and dissent was not earlier known to me .... https://activitypub.rocks .... and with IT Command and Remote Virtualised Controls it makes all the difference for everything can so easily be made different.

        And that is an Assured Statement of Fact and not just a Figment of Favourite Feverish Imagination.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Do you mean just like all editorial led newspapers..."

      Just, they are far more regulated than Google, Facebook & C. - up to the point they needed tu put someone like Pai at the FCC to remove the regulation that was set to avoid huge concentrations - and he may fail too.

  17. adam payne Silver badge

    "These dominant platforms are able to lock in their position by creating barriers for competitors. They acquire startup challengers, buy up new innovations and hire the industry's top talent. Add to this the competitive advantage that their user data gives them and we can expect the next 20 years to be far less innovative than the last."

    That sounds like most of the corporate world to me not just the web.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      That sounds like most of the corporate world to me not just the web.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "That sounds like..."

        ...the natural condition of the human race. You want better results? You need a better human, first.

  18. jonty17

    How about an open standard for publishing social media posts - that way you could host your social media account on whatever server you choose, facebook, twitter or rent some shared server space - just like we do with http content. Could that work? You could keep ownership of your own data, instead of being tied in to proprietary services - and open up the market for more competition to come in.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      But part of the power of the social media platforms is the "network effects" the platforms themselves provide. It's like a simple HTML blog post in the middle of cyberspace. Without someone directing readers to it, it's not going to get much attention, and that's the kind of thing Facebook provides with its size.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      "How about an open standard for publishing social media posts"

      USENET

  19. Lomax
  20. ProperDave

    The way to combat this surely is for more of us driving development of service federation - W3C recently approved ActivityPub as a protocol, and Mastodon (federated micro-blogging twitter-clone ~ approx half a million users across 60 public nodes) has adopted it already. Friendica or Diaspora for federated Facebook alternatives have hundreds of thousands of users across multiple nodes globally, and they should be implementing ActivityPub (or already implement the older OStatus) in future.

    Over time and with any luck, these big corporate platforms for Social Media will be weakened by the federated services. You can get your email from any provider on the planet, so I don't see why in the future your email provider couldn't offer federated social media as part of the service package. Customers could be given the ability to register on a home node for their ISP, which would then allow them to post to, and follow others' activities on nodes across the world just by using their email or federated user id.

    The whole benefit I see from federated social media is that it can also tackle all these issues relating to extreme and explicit content that Facebook and Twitter have reluctance to deal with - every node owner can be more vigilant on policing content as the nodes are usually themed to a particular topic. It's likening back to the pre-social media days when discussion forums were vastly more popular, and better policed by moderators specific to the site/forum.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's crap, son.

      (In the immortal words of the janitor from B.A.S.S.)

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      "W3C recently approved ActivityPub as a protocol"

      Sounds interesting, although I admit that I am deeply skeptical of the W3C's judgement in terms of doing the right thing with the web. It's almost at the point where if the W3C thinks something is a good idea, that looks like a red flag.

      1. onefang Silver badge

        "It's almost at the point where if the W3C thinks something is a good idea, that looks like a red flag."

        I had that feeling when HTML 5 came out, and I looked at the many pages used just to LIST the new technologies it brought with it.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Yes, it was HTML5 that did it for me, too.

  21. VooDooMonkey

    I forget sometimes just how many tinfoil hat wearing luddites there are on this site. Only takes an article relating to Facebook or Twitter every so often to remind me!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ridicule instead of argument is lazy trolling. 1/10.

  22. IGnatius T Foobar
    Mushroom

    Facebook is too big and must be shut down.

    Remember when there were more than four web sites? I do, and those were good days. Facebook has become too powerful and it must be shut down. Facebook is like Microsoft in the late 1990's: an existential threat to everything that is not itself.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Sir Timothy Berners-Lee

    "Let's assemble the brightest minds from business, technology, government, civil society, the arts and academia to tackle the threats to the web's future."

    Make sure this panel is not populated with only liberals or libertarians. Make sure you include populists and others who do not drink Silicon Valley Kool-Aid.

    Monopolies always develop in a sector without regulation. And people do not always do the right thing, not to mention that there is no consensus on what the right thing is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Sir Timothy Berners-Lee

      I agree. If we get a broad enough spectrum of political views on the team then nothing will get done for all the arguing.

  24. TomChaton
    Joke

    "Let's assemble the brightest minds from...government..."

    404 Not Found

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The middle ground between government and corporations

    It always amuses me when people claim that government is evil, with the corporate sector riding to the rescue on a white horse. The current situation with respect to the IoT proves this philosophy to be pablum, as unsecured IoT devices have created enormous problems, e.g. baby monitors that allow perverts from around the world to watch children at home (giving the device a random password, printed on a sticker on the device, would solve the problem). If you think government is always bad, move to Somalia.

  26. JohnFen Silver badge

    TBL has lost his way

    Regulation of the web would mean the death of the web in terms of providing a platform by which people can communicate freely with each other.

    This idea, hard on the heels of his terrible arguments in support of EME, make me think that TBL has lost his way. He seems to keep suggesting things that push regular people away from running web sites and making it a corporate-only wasteland.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: TBL has lost his way

      But, isnt that the idea? I sure Londoners (The ones in that square mile thingy), would have been the first in line to have seen to it that Brexit never happened. Regardless of whatever any Fisherman, or Tommy on the Street had to say about the unmitigated desater Merkels paneuropean expreiment has been. Much less why he wouldn't have them willingly living 'round him, or his faimily.

      Yep we need to crackdown on this wrongthink and fast!

  27. captain_solo

    Heavier regulation would only further consolidate the power in the hands of a few because it increases the barriers to entry and is extremely vulnerable to the lobbying efforts of the large established players. In fact that's exactly how we got here.

    Timmy was pushing for NyetNeutrality too, I guess its good that he at least seems to recognize that most of the actual power is in these higher level content/platform oligarchs.

    It's much easier for many of these so-called experts to identify problems than to solve them. In fact, Tim Berners-Lee is part of the crowd that built the thing, doesn't Kernighan's lever posit: "Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?"

  28. Rich 10

    Twitter is going to die of "old man's disease" - what kid is going to want to use something that is dominated by 60+ year old's - especially politicians and social trolls, false news and pundits.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      That could be. Facebook is already more than halfway there. High schoolers these days think of Facebook as being something for old people and companies.

    2. Jemma Silver badge

      All the people pretending to be teens and tweens?

      Reminds me of a certain monkey dust sketch (chat room perv). Best one is when he meets up with Charlotte..

      Still Nazi Grandfather for the win though.

      "Is this going to happen at *every* nursing home we take him to...?"

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      ...Like CNN?!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Regulation of the web may be needed' - Steps: 1-3

    #1. Strip Irish DPC / Ireland of all its 'lite-touch' US giant friendly regulation.

    #2. Break up google / facebook into smaller companies that must compete.

    #3. STOP voting for Politicians who refuse to regulate 'Data-Oil' Banksters!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Not a good reputation for data protection'

      German data protection federal commissioner: - 'Of course Facebook would go to a country with the lowest levels of data protection. It’s natural they would choose Ireland.' Unfortunately, the new Data Protection Bill 2018 will reinforce that view":

      ---

      https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/privacy-rights-it-s-natural-facebook-would-choose-ireland-1.3400531

      ---

      We need baby Googles:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/01/break_up_google_demand_search_specialists_and_one_surprising_vc/

      ---

      I'm anti-Google, please elect me:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/08/senate_hopeful_pushes_antigoogle_credentials_in_election_bid/

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: 'Not a good reputation for data protection'

        "We need baby Googles:"

        Googie eggs?

  30. whitepines Silver badge
    FAIL

    This is the same idiot that just pushed for DRMed "Hollyweb" complaining about lack of innovation and consolidation of services?

    Unbelievable.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not the place it once was

    Thanks Sir Timothy, regulation is sorely needed.

    The Internet not the place it once was,

    a sub domain of sensibility and causality

    now honesty is a casualty and insensibility rule.

    A place for Zombie only, {"they just don't die here" he screams}

  32. Colin Tree

    antitrust

    why is this a problem,

    or when does it become a large enough problem to do something about it

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law

  33. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Amazing how everyone is suddenly coming all over censorly minded. Becaues they wernt able to get their way. Via those tried, and trusted means of the MSM. Beit for Hillary, or Remain. We must never forget what they stood for or the fact that, if you chose to belive a few expert Russian Trolls just happend to convince enough People that these were in fact. EXTREAMLY poor chocies, that anyone with an actual brain, and less skin in the NWO game of the Bankster class. Towit your PM which panders to. Yes as utterly shite as Socal Media outlets either need to step up their game, or get the smack laid down upon their backsides.

  34. AmyInNH

    This was obvious early on. In 2006,

    Some goober answered her phone while sitting on the toilet in the next stall, and I thought, No protocols for use, No self-restraint, This isn't good.

  35. marilynsmith

    I don't think we should be too worried about extra regulation even if TBL thinks we need it. The internet has been about innovation since it's inception ... I doubt if the so-called tech and data giants will maintain their grip for long. Not so long ago there was one dominant OS Windows not now, been a whole heap of dominant search engines Yahoo, Altavista and now Google. The web is about to move to a distributed model which will break up the current monopolies pretty quickly and return a fair bit of privacy also.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      In the consumer PC world there's still only one OS in town unless you can show me a professional gaming circuit that uses Linux PCs.

      "The web is about to move to a distributed model which will break up the current monopolies pretty quickly and return a fair bit of privacy also."

      Please elaborate and provide evidence of this, because I see instead a return to the days of AOL, only with companies like Facebook in charge.

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