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General News    H4'ed 3/13/14

REDDIT AMA With WWW Inventor Tim Berners-Lee on Snowden, Dark Web, New Monetary approaches

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full AMA is at

Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the internet, did a Reddit AMA-- (Ask Me Anything) session yesterday. 

He started off saying, " I invented the WWW 25 years ago and I am concerned and excited about its future."

People started asking questions. 

One person asked what browser he uses. He replied that his default browser is Firefox but that he also sometimes uses Safari, Chrome and Opera.

Here are a few more of the many questions asked and answered:

How do you feel about the supposed dark side of the internet, such as the black markets? (Silk Road etc.)

[-]  timbl 1600 points 15 hours ago

Complicated question. I am not a great expert on them. Simple answers include of course that illegal things are crimes on or off the web. But anonymity is tricky. We have a right to be anonymous as a whistle-blower or under an oppressive regime but not when we are bullying someone? How can we build technical/social/judicial systems for determining which right is more important in any given case? Relates to tor...

Edward Snowden- Hero or Villain?

[-]  timbl 3419 points 16 hours ago

Because he " had no other alternative " engaged as a journalist / with a journalist to be careful of how what was released, and " provided an important net overall benefit to the world, I think he should be protected, and we should have ways of protecting people like him. Because we can try to design perfect systems of government, and they will never be perfect, and when they fail, then the whistleblower may be all that saves society.

Given your work at the World Wide Web Consortium and support of Internet decentralization, what are your thoughts on the W3C Web Payments Community Group and their effort to standardize web payments using Bitcoin and other digital currencies( What impact, if any, do you think digital currencies might have on how value is sent over the Internet?

[-]  timbl 406 points 16 hours ago

I think that it is important to have lots of different ways getting money to creative people on the net. So if we can have micropayment user interfaces which make it easy for me to pay people for stuff they write, play, perform, etc, in small amounts, then I hope that could be a way allowing people to actually make a serious business out of it. Flattr I found an interesting move in that direction.

See the  full AMA here at

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