Coming: A rulebook, bill of rights and ‘Contract’ for the World Wide Web

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News:Recently,Sir Tim Berners-Lee,who is the inventor of the World Wide Web, has announced a “Contract for the Web”.

Facts:

What is Contract for the Web?

  • The contract aims to create a global plan of action for all stakeholders to together commit to building a better Web.
  • The contract was created by the World Wide Web Foundation with representatives from over 80 organisations, several countries, tech majors, civil society activists and academics.

What does Contract contains?The Contract consists of 9 principles, three each for governments, private companies, and individuals and civil society to endorse.The principles are:

  • Governments will “Ensure everyone can connect to the Internet”, “Keep all of the Internet available, all of the time”, and “Respect and protect people’s fundamental online privacy and data rights”.
  • Companies will “Make the Internet affordable and accessible to everyone”, “Respect and protect people’s privacy and personal data to build online trust”, and “Develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst”.
  • Citizens will “Be creators and collaborators on the Web”, “Build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity”, and “Fight for the Web so that it “remains open and a global public resource for people everywhere”.

Significance of the contract:

  • Governments who are looking to regulate in the digital era can use the contract as a roadmap to lay out their policies and laws going forward.
  • Companies can also use this as an opportunity to have conversations with governments and civil society towards building a better Web.
  • Citizen action is an important part of the Contract and they can hold governments and companies accountable for violations of its terms.

Implementation of the contract:

  • The ‘Contract for the Web’ is not a legal document or a United Nations document.
  • However,the World Wide Web is in talks with the UN as it cannot force governments or companies to implement it.