THE BRITISH INVENTOR of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned of the "blight" of laws being introduced across the globe requiring people to be cut off from the Internet.
Sir Tim is concerned that, "There's been a rash of laws trying to give governments and Internet service providers (ISPs) the right and the duty to disconnect people."
Speaking to the Royal Society in London, Sir Tim said that a French law that comes into effect this year and the British Digital Economy Act passed in April could see people lose web access without a trial.
A French family can be forcibly disconnected from the Internet by law for a year because one of their children downloaded something that some company asserts that they should not have downloaded, he warned.
Sir Tim said that he would like to go on using the Internet. If it gets cut off, or for some reason doesn't work, things go wrong. He said, "for me, my social life would disintegrate, for other people it may be access to medical information". He added that the net has got to a point that is so critical to people's lives.
Sir Tim said that ISPs should not be responsible for the content they were carrying other than in cases of anti-terrorism and serious organised crime where they had a duty to help. µ
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