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Tim Berners-Lee warns about snooping governments

Talks of ‘dynamite’ information
Tue Jan 29 2013, 11:37
A close-up of Sir Tim Berners-Lee

WORLD WIDE WEB INVENTOR Tim Berners-Lee is worried that governments have too much access to dangerous information.

Berners-Lee warned that there are databases being created that could put individuals at risk. "That [stored] information is so dangerous, you have to think of it as dynamite," he said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

He didn't name any names, but the reaching hands of government are everywhere. Berners-Lee said that he is worried by the way this could progress.

"I have a worry about a government that is liable to take too much control; maybe to spy, maybe to block," he said. "So beware of a government that has the ability to control what you see on the web."

We don't have to look far to see what he's talking about. We have the recently failed attempts to legislate SOPA and PIPA and ACTA in the US as reference points, and the repeated drawing up of proposals for draconian internet regulations and controls.

Berners-Lee is not alone in opposing these ill-advised, heavy handed efforts and pursuing more openness, but he said that he does not approve of everyone's tactics in all instances.

"In some cases whistleblowing has been really important in showing up problems with big companies or big countries, [especially with] oppressive governments," he added.

"In other cases, people have taken data which are confidential for good reason and whose release is going to hurt people." µ

 

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