Google Donates $1 Million To World Wide Web Foundation 11/07/2018

He invented the web. Now he wants to fix

Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches 'Magna Carta for the web' to save internet from abuse

Berners-Lee is developing a new "Contract for the web" based on a set of principles that he plans to publish in full in May 2019 - the "50/50 moment" when more than half the world's population will be online.The contract is based on nine key principles: three each for governments, businesses and citizens.

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. Those of us who are online are seeing our rights and freedoms threatened.

The initiative has already secured backing from over 50 organisations, including the French government, civil society organisations such as Access Now, Internet Sans Frontières, Project Isizwe, NewNow and the Digital Empowerment Foundation, as well as companies including Google, AnchorFree, Facebook and Cloudflare.

Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor at Harvard University and author of The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It said: "To me, the most important function of the contract is to remind people that the web we have isn't the only one possible".

Berners-Lee, who in 1989 invented the World Wide Web as a way to exchange information, said the internet had deviated from the goals its founders had envisaged.

So that anyone, no matter who they are or where they live, can participate actively online.

In 2016 the United Nations passed a resolution to make disruption of internet access a violation of human rights.

Respect people's fundamental right to privacy so everyone can use the internet freely, safely and without fear.

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Meanwhile, companies commit to making the internet affordable and accessible to all; respecting consumer privacy and personal data; and developing technologies that ensure the web is "a public good that puts people first".

Be creators and collaborators on the web so the web has rich and relevant content for everyone.

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".

When the Web was created, Berners-Lee was clear in his ambition for it to be an open, free and ubiquitous platform for all.

In September 2018 Berners-Lee launched the Solid initiative, which seeks to give web users greater control over who has access to their data.

"We've lost control of our personal data and that data is being weaponised against us".

"The genie may seem to have come out of the bottle, but the internet has surprised us many times", he added. However, as the Web increases in power, this is having the unintended effect of increasing the digital divide, Berners-Lee argued.

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