Inventor of internet to speak at Sharjah forum

Berners-Lee to address topics such as risks of losing control of personal data and threats facing the internet

Sharjah: The inventor of the internet will be one of the key speakers at the upcoming seventh edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) to be held in March.


The forum, being organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC) from March 28 to 29, will host British engineer and computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and President of the Open Data Institute in London.

On the first day of the two-day forum, Sir Tim’s address, themed, ‘The Future of Open Communication in the Age of Data Monopolies’, will discuss the risks of losing control of personal data, the threats facing the internet and the negative impact of data collection by companies from the private sector.

The legendary computer scientist, who also serves as a director for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees standards for the internet and World Wide Web, will also discuss key recommendations that could help internet users protect their data, with a focus on his vision of providing users with an open platform that enables them to exchange data, access information and achieve cross-cultural cooperation regardless of geographic borders.

Currently a Professor of Computer Science at Oxford University, Sir Tim was a joint-winner of the first Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award (MBRKA) in 2014, along with Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, in recognition of their efforts in building the world’s largest platforms to disseminate and transfer knowledge.

Sir Tim was conferred the Order of Merit in 2000 in recognition of inventing and developing the World Wide Web and designing the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), plus the internet address-system that gives each webpage a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and a Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML). The web has revolutionised information, technology and computing and contributed to changing the lives of individuals, economies and politics.

Sir Tim won the Turing Award 2017, considered the highest distinction in computer science and the unofficial Nobel Computing Prize. He has also received many accolades and honours and is a member of many prestigious scientific associations and academies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), National Academy of Sciences (NAS), American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

He is an active speaker on a spectrum of topics such as the digital revolution, the Internet of Things, digitised data and cyber security, and he has been a vocal proponent of strong legislation to ensure the independence of the internet and the privacy of users.

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