Web Creator Wants to Implement a "Contract" for the Internet

Joanna Estrada
November 7, 2018

The document will be published online in 2019, and details core principles behind the movement.

For this edition, the third in Lisbon, the organization has already promised "the biggest and the best" ever, with news on the program and space enlargement, with more than 70 thousand participants expected from 170 countries.

Tim Berners-Lee shared this new contract at Web Summit 2018 and it aims to protect the web as a public good and basic right for all.

Speaking at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon on Monday, Berners-Lee said: "All kinds of things have gone wrong". Overall, they say the products they've worked on have grown to become addictive and harmful to society.

Berners-Lee's proposed principles include: Making the web free and accessible to everyone; respecting people's data and privacy, and developing technologies "that support the best in humanity".

We need a new Contract for the Web, with clear and tough responsibilities for those who have the power to make it better.

Recent research has found that over 2 billion people live in places where internet is prohibitively expensive to access. These citizens should always have access, and that they can browse "freely, safely and without fear". On the sideline, he is also working on a project called "Solid" to de-centralize the Internet.

So the web has rich and relevant content for everyone. Building strong communities is essential in protecting civility.

Fight for the web so the web remains open and a global public resource for people everywhere, now and in the future.

Various tech companies including Google and Facebook have come out in support for the contract. We are looking for a revolution."Tim Berners-Lee: "We are looking for a revolution". But if anyone has a chance, it's Tim Berners-Lee. But he believes it will help steer conversations in governments and boardrooms, and give the public a means to hold the powerful to account.

Interestingly, big tech such as Facebook, despite signing the contract, have actioned against the contract. For example, the companies' Cambridge Analytica leaks show it may not be in favor of a free internet.

One of the early signatories to the contract, Facebook, has been fined by the Information Commissioner's Office for its part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal; has faced threats from the European Union for taking too long to remove extremist content; and has been sued for allowing advertisers to target housing ads only at white people. "Will this be enough to make search engines push back?" Will it be persuasive enough for the Chinese government to be more open? "I can't predict whether that will happen".

So that no one is excluded from using and shaping the web. This contract limits those who have the most power.

"It is an economy of addiction, like gambling or video games", said Mitchell Baker, the chairperson of the Mozilla foundation, she will also be invited to the Web Summit, in an interview with the AFP.

While some online issues aren't completely malicious - such as fake news bringing in ad revenue, they are still just that: issues.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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