Web Magna Carta: WWW inventor calls for ‘online bill of rights’


Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web has spoken out against world governments and corporations, which he says are seeking to control the web for their own gain.

Web Magna Carta WWW inventor calls for ‘online bill of rights’

He called for a revolutionary bill of rights to guaranty the web’s independence.

When he invented the nexus 25 years, ago, the British Berners-Lee dreamed of a neutral space where humanity, with all of its “ghastly stuff,” would be free to be itself. Now, however, he sees no choice but to institute a sort of Magna Carta for the online world – a document that would be modeled on the 13th-century English charter on basic rights and freedoms.

“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,” Berners-Lee spoke at London’s ‘Web We Want’ festival, which discussed the future of the internet and its guidelines.


“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 said.


READ MORE: Spying and storing: Assange says ‘Google works like NSA’


Berners-Lee is active in his mission to counter that; the 59-year-old is the director of the World Wide Web Foundation, a lobbying body for the advancement of internet policy. A statement on their website explains that “governments — totalitarian and democratic alike — are increasingly monitoring and controlling people’s online communication. Wireless internet providers are being tempted to slow down traffic on sites with which they have not made deals.”

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