Web Inventor Wants Regulation of the Social Networks

By Gary Cutlack on at

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who first proposed the www bit of the internet that so glues us together now, is once again calling for Something To Be Done about the massive power wielded by the likes of Google and Facebook, even going so far as to suggest legal regulation to reduce their grasp on our eyes.

In his customary letter on the anniversary of his submission of the www protocols, Berners-Lee said the tech giants are stifling innovation rather then encouraging it with their billion dollar investments, warning: "These dominant platforms are able to lock in their position by creating barriers for competitors. They acquire startup challengers, buy up new innovations and hire the industry's top talent. Add to this the competitive advantage that their user data gives them and we can expect the next 20 years to be far less innovative than the last."

He then goes a bit bonkers and accuses the internet kings of trying to "weaponise the web" for their own gains, with the answer to such manipulation perhaps being a "...legal or regulatory framework that accounts for social objectives may help ease those tensions."

He wants a meeting of people from "business, technology, government, civil society, the arts and academia" to come together and try to right the ship. Because he's the captain and he doesn't want to take everyone down with him. [Web Foundation via The Register]