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Sir Tim-Berners Lee calls for greater protection

Sir Tim-Berners Lee calls for greater protection

In an open letter to mark the anniversary, Berners-Lee said many people now felt unsure about whether the web was a force for good, but it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that it could not change for the better in the next 30 years.

What's the difference between the world wide web and the internet? .

His boss responded to that initial proposal in understated fashion, concluding that it was "vague but exciting".

Berners-Lee's proposal contained the basic concepts of the web, including ideas like HTML, URL, and HTTP, but it would be another couple of years before he could demonstrate his idea. Twenty years later, the World Wide Web made this technology user-friendly and accessible to the public.

But while his invention has put millions of people in touch with one another and given us access to information which would once have seen inconceivable, it has also unleashed a dark side which troubles Berners-Lee.

Berners-Lee said the web has created opportunity, made lives easier and given the marginalized a voice, but "it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit". "Why don't you do that hypertext thing?'" "What could go wrong?"

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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. The contract aims to establish a set of laws and standards, to which "governments, companies and citizens are all contributing". And they have a responsibility to protect people's rights and freedoms online. "If we dream a little and work a lot, we can get the web we want", he added. Under the framework, governments are tasked to ensure the internet's availability to every one and its respect to privacy; on the premise of privacy protection, companies are to make sure that the internet is affordable and prioritize the public good over profit when developing new technology; and finally, citizens should respect "civil discourse" when using it.

Under the contract, governments should make sure everyone can connect to the internet, keep it available and respect privacy.

"The decision to make the Web an open system was necessary for it to be universal".

"The web is for everyone and collectively we hold the power to change it".

Read also: As the web turns 30, is it an "out-of-control monster"?

"There are people working in the lab trying to imagine how the web could be different", he says.


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