Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Berners-Lee Internet inventor regrets debasement of world wide web

Berners-Lee Internet inventor regrets debasement of world wide web

Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, has announced a campaign to persuade governments, companies and individuals to sign a contract for better internet, and has received support from as many as 50 companies including Google and Facebook. More than half the world's population remains offline, and the rate of new people getting connected is slowing.

It's worth noting that alongside being a professor at MIT in recent years, Berners-Lee has continued to establish organisations that aim to preserve the fundamental principles of the World Wide Web. You can access the full list by clicking the link but they include the French government, Access Now, Digital Empowerment Foundation, Internet Sans Frontières, Project Isizwe and the NewNow, and a slew of powerful companies that include Google, AnchorFree, Cloudflare and Facebook.

But what really got people talking was the first talk from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the web nearly thirty years ago.

It's a delicate balancing act, but limiting some freedoms could end up creating a fairer, more open Web. They thought 'there'll be good and bad, that is humanity, but if you connect humanity with technology, great things will happen. Berners-Lee slammed social media saying that we have passed the "tipping point" and that "silos shouldn't dominate your life".

So the web has rich and relevant content for everyone. SEE: IT pro's guide to GDPR compliance (free PDF) Individual web users are urged to be creators and collaborators on the web, to build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity, and to fight for the web to remain open.Many of these principles seem to run contrary to how the web is now treated.

However, despite these efforts, Berbers-Lee insists that the world needs a "new Contract for the Web, with clear and tough responsibilities for those who have the power to make it better". It's important to fight for an internet that is "a global public resource for people everywhere".

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The Case for the Web report which outlines these principles, also talks about the need for urgent action to combat a slew of issues including and I quote "hate speech, data privacy, political manipulation and the centralisation of power online among a small group of companies".

Despite the challenges, Berners-Lee said he was optimistic about the future of the internet.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is very well known.

Giving people control over their own data will benefit everyone, Berners-Lee told CNN Business' Senior Tech Correspondent Laurie Segall in Lisbon. The genie may seem to have come out of the bottle, but the internet has surprised us many times. "Women and girls are much less likely to have access (to the internet)". However, as the Web increases in power, this is having the unintended effect of increasing the digital divide, Berners-Lee argued.

"People in the big companies are concerned about truth and democracy".

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