Google and Facebook sign up to 'Contract for the Web'

He invented the web. Now he wants to fix

Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches 'Magna Carta for the web' to save internet from abuse

Sir Tim, who invented the World Wide Web in 1989, called for a "revolution" in how the internet is regulated and monetised in order to stem abuse, political polarisation and fake news.

"A lot has gone wrong on the web", he told the 12,000-strong audience.

Speaking to CNBC at a tech summit, Berners-Lee said, "For a long time, 20 years, I thought all I had to do was keep it, just keep it free and open and people will do wonderful things".

Roya Mahboob, founder of the Afghan Girls Robotics Club, said: "The contract for the web comes at a ideal time for women and girls around the world to speak truth to power, call out injustice and seize new opportunities". Berners-Lee is against this, claiming that "if you sign up to the principles, you can't do censorship".

Employees of Google, Facebook, and other tech giants have also voiced similar concerns publicly over the past few months.

The foundation estimates that over 1.5 billion people now live in countries which has no concrete laws on personal data protection. The two firms collectively control over three-quarters of all internet traffic through their apps, such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

However, as the Web approaches nearly 50% of the world's population as users, Berners-Lee is not convinced that these principles are being upheld or that his original ideals for the Web are being protected.

Some 70,000 people are expected to take part in the four-day Web Summit, dubbed "the Davos for geeks", including speakers from leading global tech companies, politicians and start-ups hoping to attract attention from the over 1,500 investors who are scheduled to attend. "We believe it offers an important opportunity to step back and examine the responsibilities we all have to make sure the web delivers on its promise", a spokesperson said. In case you are wondering why May, 2019, that's because it will mark the "50/50 moment" - when more than half the world's population will finally be online. "Women and girls are much less likely to have access (to the internet)".

The contract (in its current, work-in-progress version) includes some short principles aimed towards three sectors: government, private companies, and citizens. Everyone has a role to play to ensure the web serves humanity. He called for businesses, individuals and governments to support the "Contract for the Web" at the Web Summit in Lisbon on Monday. On the collection of personal data, something extremely prevalent today, he added that it isn't as valuable to companies as one might expect.

"Those of us who are online are seeing our rights and freedoms threatened", he said in a statement announcing the project, which was organized by his nonprofit the World Wide Web Foundation. At the same time we have an obligation to help the others get online.

Make the internet affordable and accessible to everyoneSo that no one is excluded from using and shaping the web.

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