Sir Tim Berners-Lee Unveils Global Plan to Save the Web
From The Guardian:
Sir Tim Berners-Lee has launched a global action plan to save the web from political manipulation, fake news, privacy violations and other malign forces that threaten to plunge the world into a “digital dystopia”.
The Contract for the Web requires endorsing governments, companies and individuals to make concrete commitments to protect the web from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity.
“I think people’s fear of bad things happening on the internet is becoming, justifiably, greater and greater,” Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, told the Guardian. “If we leave the web as it is, there’s a very large number of things that will go wrong. We could end up with a digital dystopia if we don’t turn things around. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now.”
The document, published by Berners-Lee’s Web Foundation, has the backing of more than 150 organisations, from Microsoft, Google and Facebook to the digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation. At the time of writing, neither Amazon nor Twitter had endorsed the principles.
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The Contract gives us a roadmap — embodied in 76 clauses — to do that. For governments, the Contract requires them to ensure all their citizens can connect to the internet all of the time.
We have seen the damaging effect of internet shutdowns around the world. The Contract makes clear that no one should be denied their right to full access to the web.
For companies, the Contract says they must make connectivity affordable and accessible to everyone, and to protect and respect the rights and freedoms of people online.
To restore trust in the web and its power for good, people must be in control of their lives online, and crucially they must be empowered with clear and meaningful choices around their data and privacy.
The Contract sets out policies and proposals to ensure companies place these considerations front of mind, and that none of their users are excluded from using and shaping the web.
And crucially, we all have a responsibility as web users to create the web that we want. The Contract calls on all citizens to build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.