Matt Warman
September 29, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has said “disconnection from the internet is a form of imprisonment”, and called the Digital Economy Act, which could allow families to be deprived of internet access, “worrying”.

Speaking at an event to mark the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society in London, Sir Tim said there were global trends that were limiting the freedom of the internet.“Governments are granting themselves the right to turn of the internet,” he said, citing Britain’s Digital Economy Act, French moves to switch off a household’s web connection for a year if it is found to have been used twice to infringe a copyright, and a forthcoming American bid to censor which websites are visible to US citizens.

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Sir Tim claimed that a right to the freedom to access the internet could even be linked back to Magna Carta. “It is constitutionally serious to deprive someone from the web – it requires consideration in the law,” he said. “Magna Carta says that no free man shall be deprived of liberty without due process”

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