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As the controls on the Internet, or more accurately, the World Wide Web become more and more pervasive and intrusive, the creator of this revolutionary program is sounding an alarm against government abuses of power and violations of privacy.
World Wide Web Creator Slams Mass Surveillance
The Internet, or more accurately, the World Wide Web, has changed the world of information transfer forever. This has been a boon to the average consumer, who has more access to the world’s treasure troves of information than ever before. This is a double-edged sword, as the world, and the governments within it, have more access to your information. As of right now, there seems to be few checks and balances in place to limit this un-agreed upon trade-off.
Tim Berners-Lee is speaking out against mass surveillance programs that are popping up in nations around the world, like the Snoopers charter in the United Kingdom.
“This snoopers charter has no place in a modern democracy – it undermines our fundamental rights online,” says Lee. “The bulk collection of everyone’s internet browsing data is disproportionate, creates a security nightmare for the ISPs who must store the data – and rides roughshod over our right to privacy. Meanwhile, the bulk hacking powers in the Bill risk making the internet less safe for everyone.”
The Internet has been the 21st century’s greatest success story, but there are unseen pitfalls in sharing your information online, which advertisers are using with almost limitless aggression. As the online community has taken to ad-blockers at an increasing rate, websites are left to beg for forgiveness in search of decreasing ad revenue, which was inflated due to their abuses of online power to begin with.
“It’s been great,” Lee says of the current state of online affairs. “but spying, blocking sites, repurposing people’s content, taking you to the wrong websites; that completely undermines the spirit of helping people create. Ad revenue is the only model for too many people on the web now.”
People assume today’s consumer has to make a deal with a marketing machine to get stuff for ‘free,’ even if they’re horrified by what happens with their data.
You Can Take Privacy Measures
Using a VPN in today’s snoop-ready online world is a good idea. Getting one that does not keep customer logs would be best for maximum privacy, and not all VPNs offer this measure. Some accept Bitcoin for payment, like NordVPN. Protection from everyone online, even your own government, is becoming a living necessity.
“It’s foolish from their point of view,” he says to the Guardian, adding that it’s also ethically misguided:
Any democratic country has to take the high road; it has to live by its principles. I’m very sympathetic to attempts to increase security against organized crime, but you have to distinguish yourself from the criminal.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia, Shutterstock