Tim Berners-Lee Calls for an 'Online Magna Carta' to Protect Users

By Tom Pritchard on at

Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the World Wide Web, has called for a bill of rights to guarantee the independence of the internet, protect user privacy, and prevent the net from being controlled by governments and corporations. A digital age Magna Carta if you will.

Speaking at the Web We Want Festival in London, Berners-Lee said:

“If a company can control your access to the internet, if they can control which websites they go to, then they have tremendous control over your life. If a government can block you going to, for example, the opposition’s political pages, then they can give you a blinkered view of reality to keep themselves in power. Suddenly the power to abuse the open internet has become so tempting both for government and big companies.”

He's calling for the bill to ensure that internet users have basic rights and freedoms that cannot be infringed by those in power. As Berners-Lee put it, a way for people to say "I want a web where I'm not spied on, where there’s no censorship,”

He also added that the internet needs to be a neutral medium, representing mankind as a whole. Even if that requires some "ghastly stuff" to be floating around. [The Guardian]