Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the Internet, Accuses Government of ‘Draconian’ Internet Snooping_Featured_, Technology Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
The inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has accused the government of invading the privacy by monitoring internet use
By Lucy Kinder
(The Telegraph) Sir Tim warned that plans to monitor individuals’ use of the internet would result in Britain losing its reputation as an upholder of web freedom
The plans, by Theresa May, would force service providers to keep records of every phone call, email and website visit in Britain.
Sir Tim told the Times: ““In Britain, like in the US, there has been a series of Bills that would give government very strong powers to, for example, collect data. I am worried about that.”
Yesterday was the launch of the World Wide Web Foundation’s firstglobal Web Index analysing the state of the web in 61 countries using indicators such as the political, economic and social impact of the web, connectivity and use.
Britain came third in the list which was topped by Sweden and the United States in second place.
Speaking at the launch, Sir Tim said that Britain would soon slip down the rankings if the draft Communications Data Bill became law.
“If the UK introduces draconian legislation that allows the Government to block websites or to snoop on people, which decreases privacy, in future indexes they may find themselves farther down the list,” he said.
The draft bill extends the type of data that internet service providers must store for at least 12 months. Providers would also be required to keep details of a much wider set of data, including use of social network sites, webmail and voice calls over the internet.
Mrs May has justified the need for the new legislation by saying that it is necessary to combat organised crime and terrorism.
Sir Tim’s comments came on the same day as he denied that there was an ‘off’; switch for the internet.
He said the only way the internet could only ever be completely shut down is if governments across the world coordinated to make it a centralised system:
“At the moment, because countries connect to each other in lots of different ways, there is no one off switch, there is no central place where you can turn it off.