updated 11:06 am EDT, Wed March 12, 2014
Remarks in various venues mark 25th anniversary of Internet invention
In a series of statements commemorating the 25th anniversary of the modern Internet, inventor Tim Berners-Lee asked a pointed question. In a post on Google's official blog, Berners-Lee wondered "are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control -- more and more surveillance?" In response, the computer scientist wants to build a "Magna Carta," codifying the rights of Internet users, and limiting the ability of governments to interfere with the execution of a global network.
"Unless we have an open, neutral Internet we can rely on without worrying about what's happening at the back door, we can't have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities, and diversity of culture," Berners-Lee said. He added that "it's not naive to think we can have that, but it is naive to think we can just sit back and get it."
Berners-Lee believes that US governance of the Internet is neither required, nor desired. He noted that "The US can't have a global place in the running of something which is so non-national. There is huge momentum towards that uncoupling, but it is right that we keep a multi-stakeholder approach, and one where governments and companies are both kept at arm's length."
"Our rights are being infringed more and more on every side, and the danger is that we get used to it. So I want to use the 25th anniversary for us all to do that, to take the Web back into our own hands and define the Web we want for the next 25 years," Berners-Lee told The Guardian.