Posted on November 25, 2019 by staff

Inventor of web unveils 9 principles to avoid ‘digital dystopia’


The inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee has set out new standards to avoid a ‘digital dystopia’, with the backing of over 160 organisations including the world’s largest tech giants.

The likes of Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have backed the ‘Contract for the Web’, created by Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation.

The nine principles are divided into pledges for government, companies and citizens.

Governments will be asked to ensure that all of the internet is available all of the time, and to respect fundamental privacy.

Companies will be asked to make the internet affordable for all and to develop new technologies which “support the best in humanity and challenge the worst”

Citizens will be asked to build strong communities, create and collaborate, and ultimately “fight for the Web”.

“Governments need to strengthen laws and regulations for the digital age,” the British computer scientist said at an event in Berlin as the new principles were unveiled.

“Companies must do more to ensure pursuit of profit is not at the expense of human rights and democracy.”

“The power of the web to transform people’s lives, enrich society and reduce inequality is one of the defining opportunities of our time,”

“But if we don’t act now – and act together – to prevent the web being misused by those who want to exploit, divide and undermine, we are at risk of squandering that potential.”

The contract will be available to sign digitally via the Contract for the Web site.

Signatories include actor and TV host Stephen Fry, who wrote: “The web can be an astounding force for good, but it has never before been more under threat.”

In March Berners-Lee said the web was in a ‘downward plunge’ and suggested that it would need a “mid-course correction” while marking the 30th anniversary of the web’s creation.