Who made the web so hard to control?

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1. A world with no rules

The web is the defining technological revolution of our lifetimes.

You don't need permission to visit a website, or to create one. And when you are on the web, governments find it difficult to monitor or block what you are doing. Although it can be used to censor and spy, it tends towards being open - it makes openness easy and secrecy more difficult.

This was no accident. The web was deliberately structured to have no centre and no controlling authority. And the history behind this free-wheeling structure is an extraordinary mix of Cold War warriors, 1960s hippies and information-sharing scientists.

2. INTERACTIVE: Who created the web?

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3. What does the future hold?

We wouldn’t have the same freedom of access if Tim Berners-Lee hadn’t released the web to the world for free.

We wouldn’t have the same freedom of expression if Vint Cerf and Bob Khan hadn’t created an unbreakable network.

We wouldn’t have had the same freedom of thought if the people who populated the early web hadn’t instilled their culture into the fabric of the technology.

Their decisions were made within the economic, political and social climates of their time, and they have had a profound and lasting impact on the most important communication technology of our time.

Those ideals of the past are baked into the fibre optics of the future. They will continue to shape the direction of our world for decades to come.