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Father of World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee calls for online bill of rights to keep Internet independent

March 12
10:42 AM 2014

Tim Berners-Lee has urged for the creation of an online bill of rights that will keep the Web open and neutral, TechCrunch reported.

Berners-Lee is known as the father of an interconnected information management system that we know now as the Web. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Berners-Lee said that governments and corporates are now constantly attacking the neutrality of the Internet and because of this, a "Magna Carta" protecting its independence is necessary, the report said.

Berners-Lee originally envisioned the Internet as an information system linked worldwide and a platform where scientists and people can collaborate. While it was initially made as an avenue to publish and spread information, authorities and corporates are now more interested in gathering the information than just placing it out there. Berners-Lee told the Guardian that "a global constitution- a bill of rights" is needed to safeguard all kinds of freedom, whether it is online or off, the report said.

Berners-Lee said, "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."

He added that this Magna Carta should address the issues of privacy, freedom of speech and responsible anonymity. After Edward Snowden disclosed the extent of the surveillance programs of the intelligence agencies, Berners-Lee called the effects of online spying "insidious" and "chilling." He is now asking all Web users globally to fight excessive surveillance programs in their countries and defend online freedoms, the report said.

Berners-Lee said, "Our rights are being infringed more and more on every side, and the danger is that we get used to it. So I want to use the 25th anniversary for us all to do that, to take the web back into our own hands and define the web we want for the next 25 years." 

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