Tim Berners-Lee: We Need an Online Magna Carta

Illustration for article titled Tim Berners-Lee: We Need an Online Magna Carta

Daddy of the internet Tim Berners-Lee has spoken out in an attempt to enshrine the independence of the world wide web, telling the Guardian that he believes we need an online Magna Carta to protect the rights of its users world wide.


Speaking to the newspaper, he said that "we need a global constitution – a bill of rights." He went on:

"Unless we have an open, neutral internet we can rely on without worrying about what's happening at the back door, we can't have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities and diversity of culture. It's not naive to think we can have that, but it is naive to think we can just sit back and get it."

Speaking to the Guardian 25 years after the word wide web was first proposed, he explained that the internet has recently come under "increasing attack from governments and corporate influence," pointing out how all of our digital rights are being slowly eroded. The answer, he believes, is radical change in policy:

"[We] need our lawyers and our politicians to understand programming, to understand what can be done with a computer. We also need to revisit a lot of legal structure, copyright law – the laws that put people in jail which have been largely set up to protect the movie producers … None of this has been set up to preserve the day to day discourse between individuals and the day to day democracy that we need to run the country."

Lofty ambitions, sure, but then Tim is never shy of enthusiastic goals—and, hey, this guy did invent the world wide web. When he talks about things like this, we should all listen. [Guardian]


Image by European Parliament under Creative Commons license.



Rules are one thing, but unbreakable encryption is another. Work on setting "do's and don't" rules, but if we really want internet privacy, what we really need is unbreakable encryption.