The inventor of the World Wide Web in 1989 has called on governments, companies and citizens to come up with a "complete contract" to make the Internet safe and accessible for everyone. You should be able to move from one to the other.
Inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee has launched a campaign to persuade governments, companies and individuals to sign a Contract for the Web set of principles created to defend a free and open Internet. "More than half the world's population remains offline, and the rate of new people getting connected is slowing", said Berners-Lee in a statement.
Since its inception, Sir Tim Berner's Lee has been a proponent of the free and open nature of the web, and has often warned against complacency in protecting it. Accountability, he said, might involve an annual report that tests how different companies and governments are holding up. A nod to Hobbe's concept of the social contract, the new framework aims to ensure that the Internet is used ethically and transparently for all participants. A final contract is expected in May 2019. On the collection of personal data, something extremely prevalent today, he added that it isn't as valuable to companies as one might expect.
Roya Mahboob, founder of the Afghan Girls Robotics Club, said: "The contract for the web comes at a ideal time for women and girls around the world to speak truth to power, call out injustice and seize new opportunities".
"Online harassment is rampant, and governments are increasingly censoring information online-or shutting down the internet altogether". "But people have become disillusioned because of all the things they see in the headlines". The two tech giants now have direct influence over almost three quarters of all internet traffic thanks to the vast amounts of apps and services they own such as YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Freeing constraints " We have big and small players, it's not the United Nations of the digital world, it's a call for voluntary engagement, for those who want to be part of the solution, whether they're part of the problem or not", the foundation's policy director, Nnenna Nwakanma, told AFP.
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Recent research has found that over 2 billion people live in places where internet is prohibitively expensive to access.
So people are in control of their lives online.
The Web Foundation said the majority of people not online live in poor countries and it criticised the fact that "billions of people" access the internet "through a small handful of huge companies". The contract is based on a set of nine guiding principles, three from each sector - government, business, and people. They're meant to ensure a free and open web for all, but some concerns have been raised as to their currently-vague nature. "I think they're engaging at the top levels, and we will judge them according to their actions", Lovett said.
Still, there is hope in sight. Over 50 groups have signed it already. With such support, the Contract may just turn out fine.
"We must protect ourselves", Tim Berners-Lee noted.
"Those of us who are online are seeing our rights and freedoms threatened". At the same time we have an obligation to help the others get online. Will it be persuasive enough for the Chinese government to be more open?
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