The inventor of the world wide web says highly controversial plans to let intelligence agencies to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of every person in the UK should be scrapped.
The 56-year-old innovator waded into the contentious ‘snooping’ debate by slamming David Cameron’s planned policy to track UK internet users’ data and e-mails, calling the planned move ‘very dangerous.
The Communications Capabilities Development Programme would see ISPs recording information such as email addresses, IP addresses, phone numbers, times, locations, data senders and recipients.
Home secretary Teresa May is pressing for the proposals to be accepted, but she has faced resistance from fellow politicians including deputy prime minister Nick Clegg – who said “we are not going to ram something through” – as well as industry figures.
Berners-Lee, the British born MIT professor who invented the web three decades ago, says that while there has been an explosion of public data made available in recent years, individuals have not yet understood the value to them of the personal data held about them by different web companies.
Berners-Lee insisted it was ‘important’ to stop the much mooted bill, the full details of which are expected to be fully revealed in next month’s Queen’s Speech, adding it ‘keeps me up most at night’.
‘The idea that we should routinely record information about people is obviously very dangerous,’ he stated on a variety of USENET newsgroup posts.
Berners-Lee is a staunch defender of internet freedoms, having previously criticised social networks such as Facebook for walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the web. He also has had a great prescense on USENET, first announcing his invention on the World Wide Web on newsgroups.
Berners-Lee was knighted by the Queen in 2004 for his pioneering work in combining hypertext with the internet to create the World Wide Web.