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Whitehall’s web revolution: the inside story

Prospect has uncovered the story behind Tim Berners-Lee's work deep inside British government, and his remarkable success at busting open a closed, data-hugging state

By James Crabtree   January 2010

Above: Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web

This story is now line for subscribers to read, while an exclusive interview with Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt is available to read free, here.

Before working as an editor at Prospect, I was briefly a civil servant. The experience taught me that most civil servants knew nothing about data, and the few that did were rarely listened to. Most were masters at prevarication when anyone tried to suggest that they open up vital information about schools, housing, health services, to the public; the crown jewel in Britain’s data…

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