Internet Censorship 2 min. read

Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the web, introduces “contract” to fix our broken internet

Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the web, introduces “contract” to fix our broken internet

By the middle of 2019, half of the world will now be online—undeniably a momentous occasion. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, however, has serious concerns about how the service he created almost 30 years ago is evolving—and today he vowed to do something about it.

As a platform designed for public good—a service that has connected us in amazing new ways—our online world is now seemingly filled with censorship, fake news, and privacy issues. In the eyes of Berners-Lee—who today introduced a “Contract for the Web” at the 2018 Web Summit in Lisbon—governements, corporations, and individuals all have responsibilities to maintain that web for future generations, keeping it safe, diverse, and accessible for everyone—no matter where in the world they reside.

We at AnchorFree have partnered with Tim Berners-Lee and his World Wide Web Foundation to bring this contract to life. Our COO, Michael Geer, was on stage with Berners-Lee and others in Lisbon, talking about the importance of fighting for our rights online.

Between now and next May, the contract will be finalized and include input from major organizations and citizens around the world. According to Berners-Lee, it’s not so much a contract that needs strict enforcement; rather it’s a contract that is designed to push governments, corporations, and individuals alike to make better choices and uphold their responsibilties as internet users.

After all, we all gain from a free and open internet, and we as a society need to recognize that and start imposing strong pressure against those who do not live up to expectations.

In the contract, which has nearly 60 early backers including the French government, Google, Facebook, and of course AnchorFree, Berners-Lee calls on governments to commit to making the web fully accessible to their citizens at all times, while respecting their right to privacy. He wants tech companies to play their part in upholding these rights, too, and to innovate in a way that brings out the best in humanity.

Berners-Lee’s vision is for the entire global population to enjoy the benefits of the web without attacks on internet freedoms. His contract is a framework for doing that. Input into a set of principles is being sought from all walks of life—ensuring every voice is heard.

With continuing challenges from large-scale hackings, the sale of our personal data, restrictions in the type of content we can and can’t see, and so on, Berners-Lee’s contract could not come at a more pressing time. This remains a global epidemic that is only getting worse.

“Privacy is a human right and we must fight for it,” Berners-Lee told the audience at the 2018 Web Summit. We at AnchorFree wholeheartedly agree and will work with Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation on a contract that helps fix the internet and make it a better, safer place for generations to come.

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