Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee wants to protect the internet

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee wants to protect the internet

Fight for the webSo the web remains open and a global public resource for people everywhere, now and in the future. "We have fake news, we have problems with privacy, we have people being profiled and manipulated", expressed Berners-Lee with concern.

By committing to the following principles, governments, companies and citizens around the world can help protect the open web as a public good and a basic right for everyone. More than 50 organisations have already signed the contract, which is published by Berners-Lee's World Wide Web Foundation alongside a report that calls for urgent action.

"Over 1.2 billion internet users live in countries where net neutrality is not protected, and more than 1.5 billion people live in countries with no comprehensive law on personal data protection, leaving them particularly vulnerable to increasingly common incidents involving breaches of personal data". We are looking for a revolution."Tim Berners-Lee: "We are looking for a revolution". In the new contract, Berners-Lee realizes he is asking a lot."Everybody is responsible going forward for making the web a better web in different ways", he said."The ad-based funding model doesn't have to work in the same way - it doesn't have to create click-bait". We need a new Contract for the Web, with clear and tough responsibilities for those who have the power to make it better. This could take the form of company employees speaking out or average citizens lobbying to hold a tech firm or government accountable, Berners-Lee said.

When we put the question to Berners-Lee as to who else he would like to see join the list of signatories for the contract, he didn't play favorites.

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The two firms now have direct influence over almost three-quarters of all internet traffic thanks to the vast amounts of apps and services they own such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

Respect consumers' privacy and personal dataSo people are in control of their lives online. The contract he put forward on Monday is a framework for doing that, and is created to be a serious commitment by the citizens, governments and companies that sign up to it.

More recently he has been vocal about the power wielded by big tech companies, whose financial, political and social influence outweighs many nations. With such support, the Contract may just turn out fine. He claims it is the government's responsibility to see that all citizens have internet access.

However, as the Web approaches nearly 50% of the world's population as users, Berners-Lee is not convinced that these principles are being upheld or that his original ideals for the Web are being protected. A completely free internet also means companies like Facebook can keep selling our data to the likes of Cambridge Analytica, and that Russian trolls can keep posting weak memes on obscure groups (that somehow still sway elections and patterns of vaccination) with impunity. Will it be persuasive enough for the Chinese government to be more open?

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