Tim Berners-Lee appalled by attempts to undermine web privacy and security

The inventor of the World Wide Web has voiced his thoughts on UK and US attempts to undermine internet privacy and security, particularly appalled at organisations working to deliberately break software to crack encryption protecting hundreds of millions of people’s personal data.

“Internet security is hard,” he said. “All systems have undiscovered holes in them, and it’s only a question of how fast the bad guys can discover the holes compared with how fast the good guys can patch them up.”

But he goes on to say that “Any democratic country has to take the high road; it has to live by its principles. I’m very sympathetic to attempts to increase security against organised crime, but you have to distinguish yourself from the criminal.”

Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web has always been sharing about connecting people. He created it for everyone and explains “I mean that everybody should be empowered by it, not just to read it but to have their voice heard and to participate in the democratic process.”

He feels that there should be a charter of rights for the internet devised, suggesting that the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web would be the perfect time to introduce this. Berners-Lee lists the fundamentals he would expect as an internet user, and the points he would want such a charter to be based on:

  • I can behave as though I’m not being spied on
  • If I’m being spied on, I know it’s by somebody I trust for reasons that I approved, even if it’s done secretly, and I know there’s a system in place that ensures it is accountable to the public
  • I can communicate with everybody and I won’t find my packets suddenly delayed because I go to an abortion site and my ISP provider disapproves of abortions
  • That the internet is neutral politically from the point of view of race, colour, creed, sexual preference – all the things where we do not discriminated

Read the full article on The Guardian.