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World Wide Web Inventor Wants New'Contract To Make Internet Safe

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

Its inventor says yes.

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web almost 30 years ago.

You were the promised one!

"We have fake news, we have problems with privacy, we have people being profiled and manipulated", he said in an opening address.

"Tim Berners-Lee has pinpointed one of the great human rights issues of our time and his proposal deserves worldwide support."

However, that vision has withered on the vine. The lack of privacy, the spread of misinformation, and lack of transparency in online political advertising are some of the biggest rotten apples.

In the Summit, Tim asked for all the government authorities, companies and individuals to back his project. The Contract for the Web is about everything.

"We must protect ourselves", Tim Berners-Lee noted. The date marks the earliest estimate for when 50% or more of humanity will be connected to the Internet.

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

Respect consumers' privacy and personal dataSo people are in control of their lives online.

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"Online harassment is rampant, and governments are increasingly censoring information online - or shutting down the internet altogether", it added.

Employees of Google, Facebook, and other tech giants have also voiced similar concerns publicly over the past few months. "But people have become disillusioned because of all the things they see in the headlines".

One of the early signatories to the contract, Facebook, has been fined by the Information Commissioner's Office for its part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal; has faced threats from the European Union for taking too long to remove extremist content; and has been sued for allowing advertisers to target housing ads only at white people.

Freeing constraints " We have big and small players, it's not the United Nations of the digital world, it's a call for voluntary engagement, for those who want to be part of the solution, whether they're part of the problem or not", the foundation's policy director, Nnenna Nwakanma, told AFP. "Women and girls are much less likely to have access (to the internet)". 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.

The contract (in its current, work-in-progress version) includes some short principles aimed towards three sectors: government, private companies, and citizens. The contract aims to ensure that the Web continues to "serve humanity" and calls on governments, citizens and companies to agree to a number of principles and commitments. I think this has been a tipping point.

Still, there is hope in sight.

Backers of this contract will help shape the full contract through collaboration with governments, companies, and individual web users.

Users have access to services seemingly for free (messaging, search and sharing of information, videos...), but, in exchange, their personal data are sold to advertisers. Those of us who are online are seeing our rights and freedoms threatened.

"The technology will she kill democracy?", "Building trust in the age of disinformation", "A free and open internet is not possible any more": the disillusionment digital has emerged as a major theme at the Web Summit that opens Monday night in Lisbon.

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