Inventor of The Web Calls For ‘Internet Bill of Rights’

April 13th, 2014 by Andy in Media and Democracy

I couldn’t agree more with Sir Tim Berners-Lee in his declaration here. In fact, I created a graduate program a number of years ago, the premise of which was basically the underlying principles that Lee is referencing here. Communication is fundamental to our humanity.And in a modern, mass mediated, digitally networked technological society, our right and ability to communicate becomes dependent upon our capability to access and impart information over these networks. Who controls these networks, who and how access to them is managed, becomes an issue of preeminent importance.

The inventor of the world wide web believes an online “Magna Carta” is needed to protect and enshrine the independence of the medium he created and the rights of its users worldwide.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee told the Guardian the web had come under increasing attack from governments and corporate influence and that new rules were needed to protect the “open, neutral” system.

Speaking exactly 25 years after he wrote the first draft of the first proposal for what would become the world wide web, the computer scientist said: “We need a global constitution – a bill of rights.”

Berners-Lee’s Magna Carta plan is to be taken up as part of an initiative called “the web we want”, which calls on people to generate a digital bill of rights in each country – a statement of principles he hopes will be supported by public institutions, government officials and corporations.

“Unless we have an open, neutral internet we can rely on without worrying about what’s happening at the back door, we can’t have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities and diversity of culture. It’s not naive to think we can have that, but it is naive to think we can just sit back and get it.”

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