Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man responsible for the creation of the World Wide Web, has marked its 25th anniversary with a call to end online spying with the creation of a user “Magna Carta.”
The proposal for the universal linked-information system that was to become known as the Internet was first submitted in 1989.
Now, Berners-Lee is concerned about the damage his invention could do in light of surveillance revelations.
Various press reports claim he has heavily criticised government spying via the Internet, particularly after the National Security Agency (NSA) scandal brought to light by whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
“It’s time for us to make a big communal decision. In front of us are two roads – which way are we going to go,” Berners-Lee asked in an interview with the BBC.
“Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control – more and more surveillance?
“Or are we going to set up a bunch of values? Are we going to set up something like a Magna Carta for the world wide web and say, actually, now it’s so important, so much part of our lives, that it becomes on a level with human rights?” he questioned.
Berners-Lee has called for an Internet that is “neutral” and asks for its users to remain “vigilant” against those wishing to spy on them as he is worried too much observation could threaten the web’s democracy.
In order to protect the online world from the culture of surveillance he criticises, the Internet’s inventor has created a Web We Want campaign to encourage people online to come together and create a “bill of rights.”