WWW Inventor Calls Politicians’ Attitude Towards Internet 'Really Appalling'

By Vishal Goel, | April 06, 2017

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has lashed out at the lawmakers for rolling back internet privacy laws in the US. After receiving the Turing award, which is described as the Nobel Prize of computing, Berners-Lee said that politicians' attitude towards the internet was "really appalling" and that users were in danger.

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While speaking to The Guardian, the computer scientist said that internet users are a vulnerable community because there are things that people do on the web that reveal absolutely everything, sometimes more about them than they themselves know about. Since there is so much of what people do in their lives that actually goes through those left-clicks, it can be ridiculously revealing. He further added that just like one has the right to go to a doctor in privacy where it's just between him/her and the doctor, one has to be able to go to the web.

Berners-Lee, who launched the first website of the world on August 1st, 1991, was honoured with the Turing Award this year for "major contributions of lasting importance to computing." Further, while working at CERN in the late 1980s, he had developed many of the baseline protocols, from communication protocols like HTTP to the basic webpage coding language, HTML.

However, Berners-Lee says, the model of the internet he invented is under a major threat because of a number of trends - including clickbait, intrusive advertising, online-tracking, and political partisanship - that are the eroding qualities that make the open web great.

Speaking about the recent US legislation that allows ISPs to sell their customers' web history to advertisers, Berners-Lee said that there should have been a cross-party opposition to the bill. He said that privacy, a core American value, is not a partisan thing. "Democrats fight for it and Republicans fight for it, too, maybe even more," he further added. He also said that if they take away net neutrality, there should be a tremendous amount of public debate as well. "You can bet there will be public demonstrations if they do try to take it away."

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