Fearing government and corporations will limit freedom and access to the web, the inventor of the medium, Tim Berners-Lee, has called for a Magna Carta to ensure rights.
“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 said on Saturday at the Web We Want festival in London.
The Web We Want movement is dedicated to creating an online Bill of Rights, according to its website.
“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,” Berners-Lee added.
“There have been lots of times that it has been abused so now the Magna Carta is about saying everybody using the web take this year to stand up and say I want a web where I’m not spied on, where there’s no censorship.”
The original Magna Carta was issued in 1215. It was the first document limiting the absolute power of the monarchy and later became the basis of constitutional law.
“Generally everybody feels like that openness is really important, the only people who are pushing back are the lawyers in the big companies who realise that if they can make a play to take over control, that it will be so valuable that it’s worth them spending a lot of money trying to tweak the laws to allow loopholes which will allow them to start abusing people,” Berners-Lee expalined.
Last June Bernes-Lee condemned NSA surveillence over the internet as crime.
“Unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human rights that threatens the very foundations of a democratic society,” he said, according to Wired.
“Over the last two decades, the web has become an integral part of our lives. A trace of our use of it can reveal very intimate personal things. A store of this information about each person is a huge liability: Whom would you trust to decide when to access it, or even to keep it secure?”