Tim Berners-Lee slams government's snooping plans

The web leader also said we should object to Facebook.org's 'branded internet'

Snooping

Tim Berners-Lee has expressed his concern about the government's Investigatory Powers Bill, which includes an enhanced Snoopers Charter, allowing powers to track everyone's web and social media use.

Although the government is claiming this new bill will help keep "you and your family safe" and enhance the "ability of our intelligence agencies to target the online communications of terrorists," Berners-Lee thinks it will be detrimental to society and is urging the UK population to fight back.

"The discussion of increased monitoring powers is something which is a red flagthis discussion is a global one, it's a big one, it's something that people are very engaged with, they think it's very important, and they're right, because it is very important for democracy, and it's very important for business," he told the Guardian before the Web We Want Festival in London's Southbank Centre.

"So this sort of debate is something that should be allowed to happen around legislation. It's really important that legislation is left out for a seriously long comment period," he continued.

He explained that although people in the US have been brought up on surveillance, the UK population isn't as prepared for such snooping. Additionally, the hype around Edward Snowden has triggered some mistrust in governmental surveillance schemes.

"It has lost a lot of that moral high ground, when people saw that GCHQ was doing things that even the Americans weren't. So now I think, if Britain is going to establish a leadership situation, it's going to need to say: We have solid rules of privacy, which you as an individual can be assured of, and that you as a company can be assured of,'" he said.

Berner-Lee, an advocate of the free internet and net neutrality, also said we should object to branded internet services, such as Facebook's internet.org.

"In the particular case of somebody who's offeringsomething which is branded internet, it's not internet, then you just say no. No it isn't free, no it isn't in the public domain, there are other ways of reducing the price of internet connectivity and giving something [only] giving people data connectivity to part of the network deliberately, I think is a step backwards."

Featured Resources

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Evaluate your order-to-cash process

15 recommended metrics to benchmark your O2C operations

Download now

AI 360: Hold, fold, or double down?

How AI can benefit your business

Download now

Getting started with Azure Red Hat OpenShift

A developer’s guide to improving application building and deployment capabilities

Download now

Recommended

Misconfigured Git servers lead to Nissan data leak
hacking

Misconfigured Git servers lead to Nissan data leak

7 Jan 2021
BackupAssist teams with Wasabi to offer cheaper backup for businesses
backup

BackupAssist teams with Wasabi to offer cheaper backup for businesses

6 Jan 2021
Data: A resource much too valuable to leave unprotected
Whitepaper

Data: A resource much too valuable to leave unprotected

2 Dec 2020
Trump's election defeat isn't going to get Huawei back in the UK
Security

Trump's election defeat isn't going to get Huawei back in the UK

17 Nov 2020

Most Popular

IT retailer faces €10.4m GDPR fine for employee surveillance
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

IT retailer faces €10.4m GDPR fine for employee surveillance

18 Jan 2021
Citrix buys Slack competitor Wrike in record $2.25bn deal
collaboration

Citrix buys Slack competitor Wrike in record $2.25bn deal

19 Jan 2021
Should IT departments call time on WhatsApp?
communications

Should IT departments call time on WhatsApp?

15 Jan 2021