Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the person who created the World Wide Web in 1989, and changed the way the whole world works today believes that access to the internet is today a basic human right. In a world ridden by disparities, the internet has the power to be a great equalizer, he said. He went on to add that the Russian President Vladimir Putin was wrong when he alleged that the internet was created by the CIA to snoop around.
Though the Russian President has not blocked or placed any restrictions on internet access in his country, he does not use the email himself. Putin has earlier been a spy with the Russian intelligence service, KGB.
“The Internet is not a CIA creation,” said Berners Lee. Though developed with the help of funding from the American government, it was spread mainly by academicians.
“It was the academic community who wired up their universities so it was put together by smart, well-meaning people who thought it was a good idea,” he said.
He had earlier slammed the US and Britain for weakening the foundations of the world wide web with their nefarious surveillance programs. He had also urged the Chinese government to tear down the “great firewall” that restricts internet usage by its people.
The Web Foundation had released its annual Web Index report earlier this week. It looks into issues like privacy, censorship, gender-based violence, equality, and now net neutrality across 86 countries.
When asked to comment on the Web Foundation’s rankings of the manner in which 86 countries approach the Internet, Berners-Lee said that access to the Internet should be recognized as a human right and protected from commercial and political interference. Denmark and Finland had led these rankings, with Ethiopia and Myanmar being placed at the bottom of the list. Britain came fourth, the United States was sixth, Russia was ranked 35 and China 44.
His views were also solicited on the manner in which militants have been using the internet to spread hatred and Islamist propaganda by citing instances where separatists have gone on to use the internet for sharing beheading videos over the internet, Berners-Lee said, “Like all powerful tools, it can be used for good and evil, it can be used by good people and bad people,” he said.
“When you look at the Web you see humanity connected. Humanity has got some wonderful parts and some gruesome parts. You can’t design an Internet that will suddenly turn everybody into saints. What you can do is design an Internet that is open.”
The internet has revolutionized things around us to an extent that it is now difficult to imagine that there was once existed intelligent life on this planet that had no access to Google!