Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist who submitted his first proposal for an “information management system” in 1989, has reiterated his call for a Contract for the Web, urging governments, companies and individuals to safeguard it by implementing nine key principles.
Ahead of a conference in Berlin Monday, Berners-Lee tweeted a warning of the risks faced.
“If we fail to defend the free and open web, we risk a digital dystopia of entrenched inequality and abuse of rights.”
In an earlier statement on his foundation’s website, he called the web “one of the defining opportunities of our time,” adding that collaborative action must be taken “to prevent the web being misused by those who want to exploit, divide and undermine.”
The contract lays out three sets of principles which governments, companies and individuals should each adhere to respectively.
Among other suggestions, governments need to ensure that everyone has internet access and people’s fundamental online privacy and data rights need to be respected and protected, while companies must respect and support human rights.
On an individual level, people should hold power to account and build strong online communities and stand up for excluded groups when they are being targeted or abused.