Reprinted with permission from TheNewAmerican.com.
The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee (shown), believes that “the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas.” To correct that and “restore the power and agency of individuals on the web,” Berners-Lee is preparing to re-invent the web.
Due to the growing prevalence of the twin evils of data-mining and data-manipulation, the web — created to be a free and open platform — has instead become a place where users find themselves robbed of both their privacy and easy access to reliable information on which they could base sound decisions. Take as just one example, the Cambridge Analytica breach of Facebook last year. By the time the dust settled and the smoke cleared, at least 50 million (and possibly as many as 87 million) users had their data harvested and used to manipulate their (and their friends’) votes in the 2016 presidential election.
And while that example points to Facebook, the reality is that the social media giant is far from alone. Other tech behemoths, including Google, Microsoft, and others, are also guilty of practicing “surveillance as a feature,” wherein users are tricked into handing over the digital keys to their lives in exchange for “benefits” such as easy syncing of calendars and address books. As a matter of course, these companies then misuse that data for their own benefit. With Google, Facebook, and Twitter routinely filtering search results and users’ timelines in favor of political candidates and policies favored by the decision makers at those companies, it is no wonder that the inventor of the web said that he has reached a “tipping point” where he sees that “people are reading stuff which is complete garbage and they're believing it, and they vote.”
When asked specifically about that statement, Berners-Lee said, “Science tells us what to believe are facts," adding, "And democracy relies on facts. So democracy relies on science.” He went on to say, “People don't follow links from one website to another, they sit on one website, and what they see is determined by the people who code that social network.”
While this writer may take exception with Berners-Lee’s use of the word “democracy” (the United States is a republic, a government of law wherein the rights of the individual is protected regardless of the whims of the majority), his point is valid. As Mark Twain is quoted as saying — though, ironically, he may never have said it — “It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” When people glean a disproportionate amount of what they think they know from a small handful of platforms — and those platforms are operated by people who are only too glad to manipulate the flow of information while harvesting users’ data to analyze it and use it to further manipulate those users’ thought processes — the very foundation on which the value of voting rests is at stake.
To rectify the web’s transmogrification “into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas,” Berners-Lee is preparing to launch “Web 3.0” and has written a Contract for the Web to express the digital rights of users.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee has launched a "Magna Carta for the web", warning that tech giants must change their ways to save the online world from the dangerous forces they have unleashed. Sir Tim, who invented the World Wide Web in 1989, called for a "revolution" in how the internet is regulated and monetised in order to stem abuse, political polarisation and fake news.
For people who want to make sure the Web serves humanity, we have to concern ourselves with what people are building on top of it,” Tim Berners-Lee told Vanity Fair last month. "I was devastated" he said while going through a litany of harmful and dangerous developments of the past three decades of the web. That's why "the Father of the World Wide Web" has launched a start-up that intends to end the dominance of Facebook, Google, and Amazon, while in the process letting individuals take back control of their own data.
Internet luminaries, including “father of the internet” Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, have a blistering message for the Federal Communications Commission as its vote on net neutrality looms: “You don’t understand how the internet works.”
WORLD WIDE WEB CREATOR Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said that the internet has fallen into the hands of large corporations and governments and become the "world’s largest surveillance network".
The inventor of the world wide web has criticised America's National Security Agency and its British counterpart GCHQ for weakening online security by breaking the encryptions that guard data privacy for millions of computer users around the world.
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