Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches new ‘Contract for the Web’

Sir Tim Berners Lee

Sir Tim Berners Lee

Among the speakers expected on these themes figure Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who has revealed in the beginning of the year the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, a company for which he worked as a research director, and who is accused of having used for political purposes the personal data of 50 million users of Facebook. In the new contract, Berners-Lee realizes he is asking a lot."Everybody is responsible going forward for making the web a better web in different ways", he said."The ad-based funding model doesn't have to work in the same way - it doesn't have to create click-bait".

"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.

As such, Berners-Lee, with backing from industry, politicians and governments, has this week launched a new Contract for the Web.

He warned Reuters on Thursday about tech firms monopolising the web and said there was no alternative to "really coming in and breaking things up".

However, in his view, they "suggest some concerns", particularly in issues such as privacy and online security, which he pointed out showing images of fake profiles on social networks and manipulation on the internet.

It is in this context that the creator defends this "contract", which has the motto "By the Web" (or as hashtag '#fortheweb), in order to create values of equity and safety for all internet users.

I hope more people will join us to build the web we want. These include former United Kingdom prime minister Gordon Brown and companies like Facebook and Google. "Tim Berners-Lee has pinpointed one of the great human rights issues of our time and his proposal deserves worldwide support", he said.

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Fight for the web so the web remains open and a global public resource for people everywhere, now and in the future.

The contract is a part of the #ForTheWeb campaign, which aims to carve out a web that is safe, diverse, open, and accessible.

Unfortunately, Berners-Lee reveals that it will be hard to see the contract's success. "The contract seeks to get those wielding the most power online to commit to some boundaries in how they treat their users".

Google, who also signed early, is supposedly censoring its search engines for a Chinese market. Will it be persuasive enough for the Chinese government to be more open? All in all, he feels that the Internet has to be saved from itself - so Berners-Lee is now trying to rally companies, governments, and citizens to the cause.

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".

For three decades we've seen the tremendous good that the web can deliver. "Maybe it's a myth", Berners-Lee said, pushing back on the idea that tech companies need to collect data to be profitable. The genie may seem to have come out of the bottle, but the internet has surprised us many times.

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