Google evangelist unveils his Web vision

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The Independent Online

Google's chief internet evangelist, Vint Cerf, unveiled his vision of the future of the internet yesterday - and warned that all the information currently stored on the Web could be lost to future generations.

One of the founding fathers of the internet, Mr Cerf told the Edinburgh International Television Festival that Asia now has the most internet users - 398.7 million - followed by Europe with 314.8 million and North America with 233.3 million.

While 1.1 billion people are online globally, 5.5 billion are still waiting to be linked up to the Net.

Mr Cerf believes there is no danger of the internet collapsing under the sheer weight of information, but he warned that what is stored on the Web could be lost in centuries to come.

He said: "I don't know whether 1,000 years from now information that might have been valuable and could have been preserved if it was written on vellum, won't be preserved because it's written in bits."