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What we do

Based at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Decentralized Information Group was founded and is led by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and Daniel Weitzner,  the former White House Deputy CTO for Internet Policy. DIG's work is closely coordinated with the activities of the World Wide Web Consortium, the international standards-setting organization for the Web.

At DIG, we explore the consequences of information on the Web: Where it comes from, what happens to it, and what are the rules for using it.  Some of the issues we think about are:  What do social networks reveal about you and your friends?  How can linking across scientific databases promote research?  What are the policies that determine how government agencies can share data?   How can we promote good impacts of information sharing, while minimizing risks and harmful effects? In our work, we take the perspective that information on the Web should travel together with additional data that says where the information comes from (provenance and context) and how it should be used (policy). We build tools to help people control the policies governing information, and we build automated reasoning systems to help determine whether information use complies with policy.  Learn more.

Tim's TED talk

Tim Berners-Lee gives Introduction to Linked Open Data which is a way to unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together presented at TED 2009

Danny's PCLOB testimony

Danny Weitzner presents testimony on accountable systems architecture to the US Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board hearing on NSA surveillance issues.

Hal's Talk

Hal Abelson's "Myths about Privacy" talk which clarifies the various misconceptions regarding Privacy and Security on the web presented at the W3C Privacy and Data Usage Workshop 2010

Some of our Projects

Tabulator FF Extension
Tabulator Extension: A Firefox Extension that provides a human-readable interface for linked data. It is based on the Tabulator browser for Semantic Web information (RDF). [Paper, Presentation]
Semantic Clipboard
Semantic Clipboard: An enhancement to the Tabulator Extension that allows cutting and pasting of pictures that preserves policy information such as the copyright license. [Paper, Presentation, Screencast]

Semantic Web Widget Library

Semantic Web Widget Library: A Javascript library for creating user interfaces for viewing and editing Semantic Web data, in a way that can be integrated into any Website. [Thesis]

DHS Screenshot

Accountable Information Usage in Fusion Center Information Sharing Environments: A demonstration system for Department of Homeland Security to support sharing of information by Fusion Centers in a way that complies with applicable law and policy. Fusion Centers are the contact points for cooderinating information between Federal, State and Local law enforcement and intelligence agencies.[Paper, Screencast]

Selected Publications


Current News

Archived news...

Updated:?Date: 2014-09-16 12:44:16 -0500 (Tue, 16 Sep 2014)?