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Tim Berners-Lee calls for ‘Online Magna Carta’

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Speaking on the 25th anniversary of the internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has called for the ‘Online Magna Carta,’ a Bill of Rights. The inventor of the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee, believes a bill of rights is needed to protect the independence of the Web and the users’ rights.

Exactly 25 years after the proposal of plans for the World Wide Web, the British computer scientist has come up with this proposal for ‘Online Magna Carta,’ as part of the “Web We Want” campaign for an open internet.

“We need a global constitution — a bill of rights,” Berners-Lee said in an interview with The Guardian.

“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. It’s not naive to think we can have that, but it is naive to think we can just sit back and get it.”

Tim Berners-Lee called on people to sign up for the “Web We Want Campaign” and said, “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.”

The World Wide Web Foundation and the standards body – the World Wide Web Consortium, will be leading the initiative, which asks users to generate a statement of principles – a digital bill of rights in each country, to defend the users’ rights on the Web.

Berners-Lee has been an outspoken critic following whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations of the spying tactics that American and British governments have been accused of. His plans for an online Magna Carta claim to cover principles of privacy, free speech and responsible anonymity.