Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Web creator Berners-Lee launches contract for better internet

Web creator Berners-Lee launches contract for better internet

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".

"All kinds of things have gone wrong" with the internet, says Berners-Lee. "This is a contract to make the web one which serves humanity, science, knowledge and democracy", he said. Berners-Lee slammed social media saying that we have passed the "tipping point" and that "silos shouldn't dominate your life".

However, as the Web approaches nearly 50% of the world's population as users, Berners-Lee is not convinced that these principles are being upheld or that his original ideals for the Web are being protected. SEE: IT pro's guide to GDPR compliance (free PDF) Individual web users are urged to be creators and collaborators on the web, to build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity, and to fight for the web to remain open.Many of these principles seem to run contrary to how the web is now treated. These include former United Kingdom prime minister Gordon Brown and companies like Facebook and Google.

The contract is a part of the #ForTheWeb campaign, which aims to carve out a web that is safe, diverse, open, and accessible.

The French government, Google, and Facebook have said that they back the proposal, the Web Foundation reports - especially the right to privacy and the guarantee that anyone should be able to connect to the Web. He continues, "will this be enough to make search engines push back? I can't predict whether that will happen", he said.

Some 70,000 people are expected to take part in the four-day Web Summit, dubbed "the Davos for geeks", including speakers from leading global tech companies, politicians and start-ups hoping to attract attention from the over 1,500 investors who are scheduled to attend. The contract means a real commitment to dignity, justice and equality from governments, companies and citizens.

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Pressley, a Democrat and Boston city councilwoman, will represent Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District in the next Congress. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds - from military veterans to teachers - and many had never run for office before.

Backers of this contract will help shape the full contract through collaboration with governments, companies, and individual web users.

An online security firm, Cloudflare, has also signed the contract.

However, despite these efforts, Berbers-Lee insists that the world needs a "new Contract for the Web, with clear and tough responsibilities for those who have the power to make it better".

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".

Some online ills can be traced back to the reliance of certain businesses on advertising, with the pursuit of better revenues spawning clickbait and fake news.

"The genie may seem to have come out of the bottle, but the internet has surprised us many times", he added.

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