The creator of the world wide web, computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee has said that affordable access to the Internet should be recognized as a human right, as a report showed that billions of people still cannot go online, due to the increasing amount of government surveillance and censorship. The father of the web also stated that the Internet can help tackle inequality.

However, it can only happen if it comes along with the rights to privacy and freedom of expression. “It’s time to recognize the Internet as a basic human right,” Berners-Lee said. “That means guaranteeing affordable access for all, ensuring Internet packets are delivered without commercial or political discrimination and protecting the privacy and freedom of Web users regardless of where they live.”

Berners-Lee launched the world wide web in 1990, and he made statements, as he released his World Wide Web Foundation’s latest report, which tracks and analyses the Internet’s global impact. The report that contained the Web Index showed that the laws that have been preventing mass online surveillance are weak or nonexistent in more than 84 percent of countries.

Amongst the countries that were surveyed for the research, around 40 percent of surveyed were blocking sensitive online content to a “moderate or extreme degree.” The study also found that almost 50 percent of the Web user have been living in countries that have imposed severe restrictions for the use of internet and online rights. Most of the people are from the developing countries, which number up to a whooping 4.4 billion have no access to the Internet at all, says the Web Index survey report.

The countries that ranked best in the use of Internet for economic, political and social progress were Denmark, Finland, and Norway. The countries that were at the bottom included Yemen, Myanmar and Ethiopia.

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