Berners-Lee says no off switch for Internet, photo proves he's wrong

World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee says there's no off switch for the Internet, but he's wrong. I found it and here's photographic proof. Anyway, I still like what he said at yesterday's World Wide Web Foundation Web Index event:

 Wp-Content Uploads 2012 06 Internetswitch

The way the internet is designed is very much as a decentralized system. At the moment, because countries connect to each other in lots of different ways, there is no one off-switch, there is no central place where you can turn it off.

In order to be able to turn the whole thing off or really block, suppress one particular idea then the countries and governments would have to get together and agree and co-ordinate and turn it from a decentralized system to being a centralized system. And if that does happen it is really important that everybody fights against that sort of direction.

"Web inventor denies 'off-switch'" (Press Association)


    1. Well, obviously it was done to fool the Evil Overlords who might try to turn off the Web!   On  possibly more serious note — consider that “down” is the default position, so the desired default is “on,”  hence the inversion.

    2. You’ve never been to the UK, eh?  This is how lights switches work there.  Up is off, down is on.

    3. Not in the circumstance where two switches control the same light. My kitchen has light switches at both ends, and whichever one is used first changes the light state independent of its position. 

      1. I didn’t know it was possible to laugh and shudder with imagined horror at the same time until I read your comment.

  1. Berners-Lee could be right; all the sign says is that you need it on for normal operations. I bet that switch is really there to suppress the other mode.

  2. It very well could be that that particular switch is in an office building and refers to that connection alone.

    1. Truly you have a keen and dizzying vantage upon our world.

      Incidentally, you might want to check the wall immmediately behind and over your head. There’s a joke impacted there.

  3. Not entirely related, but the Wikimedia Foundation has a switch that controls the power to their servers.  It, too, carries appropriate warnings:

  4. Of course the Internet doesn’t have a switch.  It has a blinking red light:

  5. If “the countries and governments would have to get together and agree and co-ordinate”  to do this, THAT would be awesome and the Internet would have achieved a beautiful thing!

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