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Web Inventor Speaks Out On PRISM

Web Foundation · June 7, 2013

In stories broken today by The Guardian (UK) and The Washington Post (USA) it has been reported that the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) has “direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple”.

Commenting, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founding director of the World Wide Web Foundation said:

Today’s revelations are deeply concerning.  Unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human rights that threatens the very foundations of a democratic society.

“I call on all Web users to demand better legal protection and due process safeguards for the privacy of their online communications, including their right to be informed when someone requests or stores their data.  Over the last two decades, the Web has become an integral part of our lives.  A trace of our use of it can reveal very intimate personal things. A store of this information about each person is a huge liability:  Whom would you trust to decide when to access it, or even to keep it secure?”


Additional information

The original Guardian article can be found here.

Earlier this week, the United Nations released a statement warning that state surveillance of online activity undermined freedom of expression. This statement can be found here.

Media requests to press [at] webfoundation [dot] org


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  1. John

    June 10, 2013

    Though I agree with him on this point, after supporting the addition of DRM to the standard of a critical web technology he no longer has the rhetorical ethos or moral credentials to call on anyone to do anything. This goes doubly so for matters of human rights and/or privacy.


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    1. Dillon Mann

      June 11, 2013

      Hi John. Thanks for your comment. We'd encourage you to join the conversation on DRM at the W3C site either here or here.


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