Feeds

Tim Berners-Lee: Coalition mustn't be 'lazy' on open data

Cheaper to store data publicly, says GLB

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

W3C The inventor of the World Wide Web told The Register today that it would be a great disappointment to see open data projects such as the data.gov.uk example, and the seemingly doomed data.gov version over in the US, closed in an effort to cut costs.

"What would be a shame would be if people use 'depend on money' as an excuse to be lazy and not be transparent," Sir Tim Berners-Lee told us at a W3C media event in Oxford.

However, he thinks that data.gov – which was recently flagged to be quietly wound down by the US government with the so-called Electronic Government Fund budget being cut from a proposed $35m to a small-fry $8m – will come under lots of pressure to keep it running.

"In today's world, if you can store something it's pretty much as easy to store something in public as it is in private," he argued.

Berners-Lee told the Reg that he hoped not to see the David Cameron-led Coalition follow the US's lead by reconsidering the value of the data.gov.uk project to help push down costs on this side of the Atlantic.

"If you store data in public, you don’t have to worry about security – it's actually more expensive to store it somewhere private because you have to set up access control. So the argument that it is more expensive to make something visible is a weak one; I hope we don’t start using such an excuse [in the UK]," he said.

"The transparency of spending is really powerful... The US doesn’t really have the equivalent," he said, but as we recently reported, a similar portal – the federal contract tracking site USASpending.gov – has been earmarked for the chop.

"I hope the UK doesn’t follow suit. Once they’ve gone there I don’t think the public will let them retreat from that."

TBL is opposed to the winding down of US data.gov and thinks it could be more dangerous and expensive to keep data locked away behind closed doors.

"When times are tight then maybe it becomes less of a luxury to keep in the dark what you’ve actually been doing with the accounts.

"Transparency of government through open data is just as important as it was before, and I would encourage members of the press and organs like The Register to keep pushing for it," he told us.

At today's event, Berners-Lee also spoke about how the internet should be held up to scrutiny at a high level.

"We should make the web optimum to support democracy," he said. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.