Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Tim Berners-Lee wants to fix the web, 30 years on

Sir Tim Berners Lee Sir Tim was speaking at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon Credit AP
Roberta Sherman | 07 November, 2018, 21:57

Berners-Lee wants to fix the broken internet and has, through his World Wide Web Foundation, released a "Contract for the Web" that includes guidelines for corporations, governments, and citizens such that they ensure an "open web" for all.

"All kinds of things have things have gone wrong", the computer scientist, who in 1989 invented the Web as a platform, said at the opening of the Web Summit, Europe's largest tech event. We are looking for a revolution."Tim Berners-Lee: "We are looking for a revolution". The foundation estimates that over 1.5 billion people now live in countries which has no concrete laws on personal data protection.

Employees of Google, Facebook and other tech giants have in recent months gone public with their regrets, calling the products they helped build harmful to society and overly addictive. He is advocating that everyone sign his "Contract for the Web" which outlines a series of core principles promoting privacy protections and securing internet access for everyone.

Two families killed in Sicily after floods submerged their home
Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said a series of underwater barriers that are being built in the lagoon would have prevented the flooding. Nine members of one family died in Casteldaccia, near Palermo, as a rain-swollen river flooded a home.

Roya Mahboob, founder of the Afghan Girls Robotics Club, said: "The contract for the web comes at a flawless time for women and girls around the world to speak truth to power, call out injustice and seize new opportunities".

Facebook and Google have backed the contract, which will be agreed in detail next year, despite both companies being mentioned by its creator as examples of how "the web we know and love" is under threat.

The two firms now have direct influence over almost three-quarters of all internet traffic thanks to the vast amounts of apps and services they own such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram. "Women and girls are much less likely to have access (to the internet)".

NBC News projects Michigan Proposal 1 to pass
Additionally, the initiative legalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp, which can be used to make textiles, biofuels and foods. It will also be legal to give someone else 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

With a talk entitled, "Nurturing a digital future that is safe and beneficial for all", Guterres said there should be a ban on killer robots and "autonomous machines with the power and the capacity to take human lives on their own without human control".

"Over 1.2 billion internet users live in countries where net neutrality is not protected, and more than 1.5 billion people live in countries with no comprehensive law on personal data protection, leaving them particularly vulnerable to increasingly common incidents involving breaches of personal data". They're meant to ensure a free and open web for all, but some concerns have been raised as to their currently-vague nature. I think this has been a tipping point.

So what is your take on the issue? But if anyone has a chance, it's Tim Berners-Lee. Depending on where you live, you've likely seen your government make some dubious-if-not-outright (far-right?) authoritarian choices in regard to how the Internet works.

Queen invites Meghan Markle's mum to royal family's Christmas celebrations
The Queen had broken protocol for Markle before by inviting her to Sandringham activities when she was engaged to Prince Harry . Even Kate Middleton's family have not been invited to the Norfolk estate.

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. It's a delicate balancing act, but limiting some freedoms could end up creating a fairer, more open Web.

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