Sir Tim-Berners Lee calls for greater protection

Sir Tim-Berners Lee calls for greater protection

Sir Tim-Berners Lee calls for greater protection

"The Contract for the Web must not be a list of quick fixes but a process that signals a shift in how we understand our relationship with our online community", Berners-Lee wrote in an open letter on Monday.

Thirty years later, around half the world's population is online - but tech giants that dominate the internet, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, have been criticized in recent years for failing to stem the spread of misinformation and harassment on their platforms.

"Look at the 50 per cent who are on the web, and it's not so pretty for them", he said. "So finding out how things worked was really hard", he said.

He added that to this end, the Web Foundation is working with governments, companies, and citizens to build a new Contract for the Web.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Sir Tim Berners-Lee

The Contract for the Web seeks a collaboration among governments, companies and citizens. Companies are to make the internet affordable, respect privacy and develop technology that will put people - and the "public good" - first.

Berners-Lee worked at CERN in the 1980s as a young software engineer. That was that once the state of our interactions was on line, we could then use computers to help us analyze it, make sense of what we are doing, where we individually fit in, and how we can better work together. He wrote the first web browser in 1990 while employed at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland.

For the past decade, Berners-Lee has published an open letter every March 12, taking the WWW's anniversary as an opportunity to voice his opinions and concerns on the emerging issues facing our increasingly internet-reliant society. He said his invention mirrors humanity, the good and the bad. He was alluding to a principle that anyone with an internet connection should have equal access to video, music, email, photos, social networks, maps and other online material.

Berners-Lee, however, said that the web had also created the opportunity for scammers, facilitated the spread of hatred and aided all kinds of crime. "The introduction of the new people demands a fair amount of their time and that of others before they have any idea of what goes on. It's our journey from digital adolescence to a more mature, responsible, and inclusive future".

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