|Marc Maligalig |||Sep 28, 2014 11:23 PM EDT|
(Photo : Reuters) Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web talks during a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the web at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin near Geneva March 13, 2009.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the World Wide Web 25 years ago, warned the public Saturday that Internet freedom is under threat by corporations and governments aiming to control the web.
Berners-Lee called for a bill of rights to safeguard the Internet's independence and guarantee user privacy.
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"If a company can control your access to the internet, if they can control which websites they go to, then they have tremendous control over your life," Berners-Lee said at the London "Web We Want" festival on the future of the internet.
"If a government can block you going to, for example, the opposition's political pages, then they can give you a blinkered view of reality to keep themselves in power," he added. "Suddenly the power to abuse the open internet has become so tempting both for government and big companies."
Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, an organization that makes the rules and guidelines for the Internet's development.
He called for a version of the "Magna Carta" for the Internet. The Magna Carta is a 13th century English document credited with safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the English people.
Privacy and freedom concerns on the Internet have increased after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked the United States' massive monitoring of online activity.
The European Union's "right to be forgotten" ruling, which lets members of the public remove links to their information on search engines such as Google, has also raised concerns over the possibility of censorship.
"There have been lots of times that it has been abused, so now the Magna Carta is about saying...I want a web where I'm not spied on, where there's no censorship," said Berners-Lee.
He also added that for the Internet to be a "neutral medium," it should reflect all of humanity, even some of the "ghastly stuff" in the world.
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