Tim Berners-Lee has advised the British government to make public data more accessible.
The British government’s plan to turn the Internet into a national intelligence cache that stores data on every U.K. Web surfer was frustrated Tuesday when Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, condemned such a move as a “destruction of human rights.”
But his criticism was not frustrating enough, with the British home secretary promising to continue with the program in the coming weeks. The new rules would allow U.K. Government Communication Headquarters to “monitor all communication on social media, Skype calls and email communication as well as logging every site visited by Internet users in Britain.” [Correction: In an earlier version of this Truthdig article Berners-Lee was called the inventor of the Internet. Instead, he is considered to be the inventor of the World Wide Web.] —ARK
Berners-Lee said: “The idea that we should routinely record information about people is obviously very dangerous. It means that there will be information around which could be stolen, which can be acquired through corrupt officials or corrupt operators, and [could be] used, for example, to blackmail people in the government or people in the military. We open ourselves out, if we store this information, to it being abused.”
... [H]e said that since the coalition had not spelled out an oversight regime, or how the data could be safely stored, “the most important thing to do is to stop the bill as it is at the moment”.
The intervention of the highly respected internet pioneer creates a headache for Theresa May, the home secretary, who has said she plans to press on with introducing the new measures after the Queen’s speech next month, despite concerns raised by senior Liberal Democrats. It will add to the woes of ministers mired in damaging battles over unpopular policy proposals on several fronts.