Internet inventor Berners-Lee to battle Google, Facebook with new web platform

Internet inventor Berners-Lee to battle Google, Facebook with new web platform

Internet inventor Berners-Lee to battle Google, Facebook with new web platform

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, has launched a campaign to persuade governments, companies and individuals to sign a "Contract for the Web" set of principles created to defend a free and open internet.

Founder of The World Wide Web Foundation, and internet originator, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has announced a new campaign and a contract dubbed a "Magna Carta for the web".

"For many years there was a feeling that the wonderful things on the web were going to dominate and we'd have a world with less conflict, more understanding, more and better science, and good democracy. We have fake news, we have problems with privacy, we have people being profiled and manipulated", he said in an opening address. The Contract for the Web is about everything. Berners-Lee confessed he's "increasingly worried" about how the Web is evolving.

Employees of Google, Facebook, and other tech giants have also voiced similar concerns publicly over the past few months.

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Among the speakers expected on these themes figure Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who has revealed in the beginning of the year the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, a company for which he worked as a research director, and who is accused of having used for political purposes the personal data of 50 million users of Facebook.

The two firms now have direct influence over almost three-quarters of all internet traffic thanks to the vast amounts of apps and services they own such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

In the Summit, Tim asked for all the government authorities, companies and individuals to back his project.

"We need to make sure that people who are connected to the web can create the world they want and use it to correct the problems that exist", he said, calling the internet "more peaceful and more constructive".

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With the Internet of Things (IoT) being built upon easy, open access to the internet, the possibility of such traffic being throttled or blocked, and related businesses potentially being held to ransom for greater networking fees, introduces great uncertainty.

Tim Berners-Lee shared this new contract at Web Summit 2018 and it aims to protect the web as a public good and basic right for all. The contract is based on a set of nine guiding principles, three from each sector - government, business, and people. I think this has been a tipping point. With such support, the Contract may just turn out fine.

But at the same time, Berners-Lee's warnings do have weight. On the collection of personal data, something extremely prevalent today, he added that it isn't as valuable to companies as one might expect. At the same time we have an obligation to help the others get online.

The Web Foundation said the majority of people not online live in poor countries and it criticised the fact that "billions of people" access the internet "through a small handful of huge companies".

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How would you like to see Internet 2.0?

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