ALMOST everybody on the planet will be connected to the web by the end of this decade, according to the so-called "father of the internet".
But Vincent Cerf, Google's vice-president, also warned that more must be done to eradicate problems such as child pornography and credit card fraud.
Speaking at the company's European headquarters in Dublin, Mr Cerf (68) gave the inside track on future trends in new technologies.
"There is an annual 15pc growth of the internet in terms of people and machines. That's enough to make everybody on the planet connected by the end of the decade," he said.
"The cost of being online is dropping fast enough, so that third-world countries in places such as Africa can now become part of the online community. Times are changing, new opportunities are coming along and the internet is constantly evolving.
"There are a lot of bad things that happen on the net. Eventually, we'll have to figure out how to cope with the bad guys in an international setting."
He also highlighted the importance of limiting the spread of certain personal information on the net, while insisting that greater transparency from governments was an integral part of the democratic system.
The US native added: "I don't think all information should be available to everybody.
"On the other hand, certain information should be widely available because of the transparency it produces -- I'm thinking of government data."
It was also announced yesterday that the Irish domain name, YouTube.ie, is now logging over 1.1m hits each day, while 60 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube worldwide every minute. Peter Houlihan