Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Don't Leave Half the World Offline and Behind, Urges Web Founder

Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches 'Magna Carta for the web' to save internet from abuse Don't Leave Half the World Offline and Behind, Urges Web Founder
Emmett Howard | 08 November, 2018, 06:38

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has been trying to fix his creation for quite a few years now, particularly following the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about mass online surveillance.

Berners-Lee highlighted studies showing that half of the world population will be online by next year - but the rate of take-up was slowing considerably, potentially leaving billions cut off from government services, education and public debate.

The whole contract process and its starting principles have been published by Berners-Lee's World Wide Web Foundation, and have already received backing from over 50 significant organisations. It's already amassed a wealth of supporters, including Google, Facebook, Innovation Award victor and Young Global Leader honoree MariƩme Jamme, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, and many more. "The power to access news and information from around the globe is being manipulated by malicious actors", his Web Foundation said in a report outlining the need for a new contract for the web. Those of us who are online are seeing our rights and freedoms threatened. This contract hopes to protect people's rights on the internet.

Make the internet affordable and accessible to everyoneSo that no one is excluded from using and shaping the web.

You only have to look at the control that certain digital companies exert over the Web and the influence that data manipulation has had on democracies to understand why...

"What naturally happens is you end up with one company dominating the field, so through history there is no alternative to really coming in and breaking things up", Berners-Lee told Reuters.

So the web has rich and relevant content for everyone.

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Fight for the web so the web remains open and a global public resource for people everywhere, now and in the future.

These firms have become quasi-monopolies in their respective areas, and an economic power that translates into a strong political power, far short of the ideals which animated the early days of the internet: the founders imagined it to be rather a large space without any intermediary, where everyone could express themselves and share information freely.

In addition, Berners-Lee has also recently established a small startup called Inrupt, which will promote uptake of an open-source project called Solid - both of which allow users to take control of their own data.

Recent research has found that over 2 billion people live in places where internet is prohibitively expensive to access.

Since its inception, Sir Tim Berner's Lee has been a proponent of the free and open nature of the web, and has often warned against complacency in protecting it. The genie may seem to have come out of the bottle, but the internet has surprised us many times.

It is in this context that the creator defends this "contract", which has the motto "By the Web" (or as hashtag '#fortheweb), in order to create values of equity and safety for all internet users.

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