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From lofty beginnings to cute cat videos, hate groups: World Wide Web marks 30 years

Last Updated Mar 12, 2019 at 9:01 am PDT

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Summary

It's been 30 years since the first steps were taken down the 'information super highway'

On Mar. 12, 1989, the first steps were taken that would eventually lead to the World Wide Web we know today

Internet inventor calls for global efforts to tackle state-sponsored hacking, crime, abusive language on the web

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Would you believe it has been 30 years since the first steps were taken down the “information super highway?”

On this day in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee — an Englishman working at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland — submitted his first proposal for an “information management system” that would make the Internet easily searchable and eventually turn into the World Wide Web.

Berners-Lee came up with the language and framework that would allow the creation of web servers, web pages and browsers, ushering in the online information age. Three decades later, there are almost two-billion active websites and half the globe is online.

The now 63-year-old probably never dreamed his creation would lead to our love affair with cute kitten videos. He also could not foresee the proliferation of hacking, criminal behaviour and hatred now spread online.

In an open letter, Berners-Lee has called for global efforts to tackle state-sponsored hacking, crime and abusive language on the Internet.

“Against the backdrop of news stories about how the web is misused, it’s understandable that many people feel afraid and unsure if the web is really a force for good,” he writes.

“But given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can’t be changed for the better in the next 30. If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed the web.”

Berners-Lee calls the fight for the web one of the most important causes of our time and is asking governments, companies and citizens to work together on the “journey from digital adolescence to a more mature, responsible and inclusive future.”

-With files from the Associated Press and CNN