The “father of the Internet” calls on users to defend him

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Photo: Reuters

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, in an interview with the Guardian published on March 12, 2014, calls for the creation of an online Magna Carta. The reason he needs this bill of rights is to protect and enshrine the independence of the medium he has created.

Exactly 25 years after writing the first draft of the first proposal or what would become the Internet and the medium of communication, journalism and entertainment, the computer scientist told the Guardian: “We need a world constitution – a bill of rights. His comments follow on from Edward Snowden’s revelations about how the NSA is undermining virtually everything he conceives of the internet as through its mass media surveillance.

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In 1989, Berners-Lee submitted a paper entitled “Information Management: A Proposal”. His idea was to form a system of interconnected documents that could be stored in a variety of places. He also designed what would become the web browser in his proposal for a medium for viewing these documents. 25 years later, browsers are the gateway to the World Wide Web and the Internet has grown to accommodate not only interconnected documents, but also everything possible and imaginable.

But it wasn’t until 1991 that the first web pages started appearing. The general appeal of these pages was limited, but what they set in motion would turn into two years. In 1993, the Mosaic web browser brought Berners-Lee’s creation into the mainstream.

As more and more people have joined the internet, the fury of users, including the UPS, is understandable when it has come under attack from governments. Berners-Lee’s proposal comes as a savior of the “open and neutral” system.

At the London 2012 Olympics, Berners-Lee typed the words “it’s for everyone” into a computer in the center of the arena. Since he invented the web 25 years ago, he has been adamant about the principles of openness, inclusiveness and democracy. His vision of the Internet as a tool belonging to all was further materialized with the invention of Google.

A live tweet from World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee appears in the crowd at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012, in London.  Photo: AP

A live tweet from World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee appears in the crowd at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012, in London. Photo: AP

Sites such as Yahoo! had created searchable directories on the Web, but Google succeeded in being the gateway to the Internet. The foundations for this future were laid in 1996 and the ball started rolling in 1998 when it went into service. Now Google can claim to be the gateway to the Internet, with its smartphone software, cloud readers, maps, and most importantly, the vast treasure trove of data it presented to anyone who wanted to access it. As the Guardian says: “The Web has become less of a library than an encyclopedia; the default place to turn for any piece of knowledge.

And now that this openness is threatened with every move on the Internet, the bastion of free speech being watched and open to investigation, Berners-Lee says, “Unless we have an open and neutral Internet, we can Rely on the back door, we cannot have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities and cultural diversity. “

One of the most prominent critiques of citizen surveillance by US and UK spy agencies, the inventor’s “web we want” campaign calls on people to generate a digital bill of rights in every country – a declaration of principles that it hopes will be supported by public institutions, government officials and businesses according to the Guardian.

The struggle between privacy and freedom of expression and the so-called security concerns has been a long one. Since journalism has moved to the web and agencies have used it as a vehicle to voice concerns, raise debates and shine a light on government wrongdoing, there have been attempts to gag it. .

“In April 2010, Wikileaks released the first version of the document cache it received from Bradley Manning. “Collateral Murder” showed a US Army helicopter firing at civilians. Later that year, US Embassy cables released a vast mine of diplomatic notes, destabilizing governments around the world, ”the Guardian said in its interactive Internet story.

Two years later, Sopa and Pipa were offered in the United States. Although many people have called for internet censorship, supporters of the Stop Online Piracy Law and the Intellectual Property Protection Law have said they will protect copyright owners. Wikipedia, the Internet’s collaborative encyclopedia, took him so seriously that he went on strike for a day. Fortunately, the two bills did not.

Today, the very means by which millions of people have expressed their right to freedom of expression is more threatened than ever. Edward Snowden’s denunciation highlighted the weakening of encryption, web security, mass collection of user metadata, and more. Berners-Lee’s view of the Internet as he saw it as a tool for openness is under attack.

His appeal to the Internet’s Magna Carta echoes the principles of confidentiality, freedom of expression and responsible anonymity. “These issues have come over us,” Berners-Lee told The Guardian in his interview. “Our rights are more and more violated on all sides, and the danger is that we will live there. So I want to take advantage of the 25th anniversary so that we all do it, to take the web in hand and define the web we want for the next 25 years. “


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