Davos: China will gradually move to cut
censorship of the Internet, but it will take a long time, the
man credited with inventing the World Wide Web said today.
Commenting on Google`s threat to pull out of China, Tim
Berners-Lee said Beijing was having to move "carefully" in
opening up Internet openness, but said the "genie is out of
the bottle" in terms of access.
"I think that openness increases steadily. Every time you
open it the genie comes out of the bottle and it`s very
difficult to put it (back) in the bottle," he said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum
(WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, he said: "The
Internet has a tradition of bit by bit increasing openness.
"It tends not to go backwards...a government that is used
to working with an uninformed citizenry might take a while to
move to a position where the citizens are informed.
"So I can imagine that China might need to move carefully
in that direction, but I think we should do everything we can
to make it easier for a government which censors the Internet
to move in that direction."
The comments come after Google, responding to cyber
attacks on the email accounts of Chinese human rights
activists, said it can no longer censor Web search results in
China -- even if that means it has to leave the country.