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The Shakespeare Herald

Magna Carta

photo 2.JPGTim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, believes that an online bill of rights is required to protect the interests and integrity of both the Internet and its users.

Few of us can truthfully state that we can make it through an entire day without consulting the Internet. This tool that so many of us rely on for work, school, and entertainment is under constant attack from government and corporate influences, leading its creator to advocate for an online Magna Carta. In a March article from The Guardian, Berners-Lee stresses how important it is for Internet users to be able to trust the information that they access. Without reliable web access, Berners-Lee is doubtful that we can have “good government, good health care, connected communities and diversity of culture.”

The Magna Carta plan fits into a new initiative called the “web we want,” which will strive for every country to have its own online bill of rights. The goal of this web constitution is to re-establish the Internet as a reliable information source free from outside influence, but also to protect web users by examining principles of privacy and free speech. Berners-Lee insists that web users’ rights have been compromised more than we know, and that we must not passively allow this to continue.

The public has mixed responses to the online Magna Carta. While some web users are rejoicing at Berners-Lee’s implementation of an online policing system, many are looking back in history and insist that such a document would only protect the rich and powerful. Others feel that the online constitution has come too late and that nobody can wrestle the “ebeast” that is the Internet. 

Check out the full article on The Guardian's website.

Image Source: University of Victoria Special Collections