today’s selection is …
A report from Edouard Austin in my team at Orange who was attending the WW2012 keynote speech by one of the Web’s founders, Sir Tim Berners Lee who issued a clear warning as to the growing threat to freedom of speech on the Internet. In that speech, he addresses a clear comment to Mark Zuckerberg who announced a few years ago that “privacy was no longer a social norm”. Whereas the growing threat to freedom of speech is a non debatable and an increasingly worrying threat, I would venture to say that this keynote fails to address the other side of the issue and the fact that the lack of regulations has also impinged the rights of others and namely those of artists, sometimes in favour of thieves who have amassed humongous fortunes. I know that this is a debatable issue but as much as I have been a proponent of the free Internet and online freedom of speech from day one – i.e. for the past 17 years – I can’t believe that anything can be done. Or at least I believe that the two sides of the issues have to be analysed and debated, and freedom of speech placed within the sound borders established by the law (you know, that old-fashioned thing one used to abide to). As a matter of fact, I am a firm believer in free speech and open creativity but I am not convinced that copying and endorsing illegally others’ content is an option.
Web founder warns of lack of freedom online
Keynote speaker at the World Wide Web 12 in Lyon, the founder of the Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee shared his growing concerns regarding the freedom and liberties of the web.
“It is a danger to national security for a country to have information about all the people stored on one disk”. As I arrived (late) inside the imposing lecture theatre of the Cité Internationale, sir Tim Berners-Lee was just beginning to underline the dangers of the web for democracy today. “It’s not only the open market which depends on an open Internet, but democracy, human discourse”.
The founder of the Web is growing worried about the amount of confidential information circulating on the web and the way personal data can be used by companies or politics. The Internet must remain a platform for innovation and creation but Berners-Lee insists on the fact that “we have to be alert. 90% of the time, we have to spend creating, doing cool things and innovating, but 10% of the time, we have to spend protecting the platform we do it on”.