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Tim Berners-Lee hits out at SOPA and PIPA

Praises Google and Wikipedia
Wed Jan 18 2012, 17:04
Tim Berners-Lee on stage at IBM Lotusphere event

THE MAN who founded the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, has hit out at SOPA and PIPA legislation.

Speaking to The INQUIRER at IBM's Lotusphere event in Florida, Berners-Lee said that SOPA posed a grave threat to the openness of the internet and had to be stopped.

"The laws have been put together to allow an industry body to ask the government to turn off a web site and the government can make people turn off the site without trial," he said.

"There are times when that could be very powerful and damaging, like before an election, and it is crossing a line and we have to protect the internet as an open space, we have to respect it."

Berners-Lee praised the work of Google in censoring its logo and Wikipedia for shutting down access to its site as helping draw attention to the issue in the US.

"Folks in the UK should not be complacent. There are plenty of laws they should look at out for already on the books that also have issues," he added, most likely referencing the Digital Economy Act which was passed in 2010.

Berners-Lee had earlier spoken to attendees at the event in Orlando and urged people to make their concern with the proposed legislation.

"These acts have not been put together to respect human rights as is right for a democratic country," he said.

The protests over SOPA and PIPA have seen several notable sites take public action to show their concern with the proposed laws, including Wikipedia blocking access to its site for 24 hours. µ


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