Monday, June 24, 2013
Companies and governments “trying to take control of the internet” are undermining the founding principles of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned.
The inventor of the World Wide Web said the internet is facing a “major” threat from “people who want to control it on the sly” through “worrying laws” such as SOPA, the US anti-piracy act, and through the actions of internet giants.
“If you can control [the internet], if you can start tweaking what people say, or intercepting communications, it’s very, very powerful…it’s the sort of power that if you give it to a corrupt government, you give them the ability to stay in power forever.”
Sir Tim was speaking as it emerged that the US government has been collecting huge amounts of personal information from Google, Facebook, Apple and other internet companies.
There have also been reports that British spies have been gathering intelligence from the internet giants “through a covertly run operation set up by America’s top spy agency”
“Unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human rights that threatens the very foundations of a democratic society,” Sir Tim said. “I call on all web users to demand better legal protection and due process safeguards for the privacy of their online communications, including their right to be informed when someone requests or stores their data.
“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?”
Sir Tim added that a “wake up call” had been delivered when former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak cut off communications services during the uprising that ousted him.
“A lot of people thought the internet was like the air, it just flows. [After this] people asked, ‘who could turn off my internet’?”
Full article: http://www.businessi … -the-internet-2013-6