Ooh, it also turns out that Tim Berners-Lee, he who invented the web, now works for the Decentralized Information Group at MIT, which lists as its mission:
– developing an architecture for the Semantic Web
– application of Semantic Web techniques to specific application domains such as life sciences research, libraries and digital repositories, and peer-to-peer social networking applications. In the future we expect to expand this work to other scientific research communities and domains.
– The Policy Aware Web: develop infrastructure to give users greater transparency in their online interactions, help both people and machines to play by the rules relevant to social interactions in which they participate, and provide some accountability where rules are broken. The policy aware Web is the logical continuation of the user empowering features of the Web that have, in the Web’s first decade, been critical in shaping the delicate relationship between Web technology and the surrounding legal environment.
– Decentralized information space public policy issues: the sound operation and advancement of decentralized information systems require forward-thinking public policies regarding privacy, security, freedom of expression, to intellectual property protection, including treatment of traditional content and software, as well as metadata and other new modes of information expression made possible bySemantic Web technology. DIG investigates a variety of such public policy questions informed by our unique perspective on new technology developments.
Definitely an organisation worth watching from a research community perspective.