GENEVA – The founder of the World Wide Web has called for a global fight against state-sponsored hacking and online hatred on Tuesday, the 30th anniversary of the technology.
Tim Berners-Lee invented the groundbreaking system while working at the European Center for Particle Physics (CERN) in 1989.
The British software engineer said “deliberate, malicious intent, such as state-sponsored hacking and attacks, criminal behavior, and online harassment” is one of the main problems online.
He added that the Web has “given marginalized groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier.”
But he also warned it has “created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit” in a letter published by his World Wide Web Foundation on the 30th anniversary of the invention.
Berners-Lee urged governments, companies and citizens to “come together as a global web community.”
He called on them to agree to his “Contract for the Web,” in which he proposes that governments guarantee that everyone can connect to the internet, that they will always keep it open and that they will respect the right of everyone to use it “safely and without fear.”
Berners-Lee made his proposal for what would become the internet as we know it today to the head of the CERN so that scientists could share information with universities and other institutions around the world.
His invention has changed the lives of practically everyone in the world, it is estimated that half of the global population now has access to the Web.
The challenges facing the online community were discussed on Tuesday at CERN by a panel including specialists, internet entrepreneurs and advocates of free and open source programs.
Speaking at the event, engineer Jean-François Groff, who worked at CERN and developed the first code library for the Web, said: “The brilliant thing about this guy (Berners-Lee) is that he could not only express the vision in word but he could actually code in and make it work.”
He added: “I think that’s why he became this celebrated hero today.”