Is the future of the Internet de-centralised, secure and censorship free?

Technology leaders are meeting in San Francisco this week

Internet, summit, San Francisco, Decentralized Web Summit, secure, conference, Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf

This file photo shows server banks inside a data center at AEP headquarters in Columbus, Ohio | Image: John Minchillo / AP/Press Association Images

A US conference is being told the Internet needs to be more de-centralised and free of censorship.

Technology leaders are meeting in San Francisco this week to discuss these issues, with an emphasis on privacy and preserving history.

The Decentralized Web Summit says it is is focused on "locking the web open".

"The current web is not private or censorship-free. It lacks a memory, a way to preserve our culture's digital record through time", it adds.

"The Decentralized Web aims to make the web open, secure and free of censorship by distributing data, processing, and hosting across millions of computers around the world, with no centralized control".

Among those speaking at the two day conference are people widely credited as 'fathers of the Internet' - Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf.

Mr Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He also founded and directs the World Wide Consortium (W3C), a forum for technical development of the web.

While Mr Cerf is vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google, as well as the co-creator of the TCP/IP protocols.

Tim Berners-Lee (above) and Vint Cerf (below) | Images: decentralizedweb.net

"Easy on both sides"

"We are bringing together a diverse group of Web architects, activists, engineers, archivists, scholars, journalists, and other stakeholders to explore the technology required to build a Decentralized Web and its impact", the summit says.

"What decentralized applications are being built today, and what is just around the corner? Together, can we prototype the Decentralized Web and start to lock the Web open for good?", it asks.

Another focus is said to be on new digital payment systems, moving away from having to enter credit card details.

"Ad revenue is the only model for too many people on the web now," Mr Berners-Lee told the New York Times.

"People assume today's consumer has to make a deal with a marketing machine to get stuff for 'free,' even if they're horrified by what happens with their data."

"Imagine a world where paying for things was easy on both sides".