Based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Decentralized Information Group (DIG) was founded by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and is led by Hal Abelson, a founding director of Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the Free Software Foundation, and a director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. DIG’s members include leaders in technology and public policy, and is closely coordinated with the activities of the World Wide Web Consortium, the international standards-setting organization for the Web.

DIG explore the consequences of information on the Web: where it comes from, what happens to it, and what are the rules for using it. Research issues include: What do social networks reveal about us? How can linking across scientific databases promote research? What are the policies that determine how government agencies can share data? How can good impacts of information sharing be promoted, while minimizing risks and harmful effects? DIG 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). They build tools to help people control the policies governing information, and build automated reasoning systems to help determine whether information use complies with policy.

Lab Director: Professor Hal Abelson