Sir Tim Berners-Lee launched a call to sign the ‘Contract for the Web’. The contract appeals to governments, companies, and ‘netizens’ to improve Internet accessibility, privacy, confidentiality of user data, and to keep the Internet free and safe by respecting ‘civil discourse and human dignity’. The document has been already signed by representatives of 60 companies, including Google, Facebook, and governments. In Berners-Lee’s opinion, today we need new ‘clear and strict’ standards for those players who have enough influence to make the Internet better. The standards proposed in the contract will be finalised after consultations with governments and companies.
Cybersecurity is among the main concerns of governments, Internet users, technical and business communities. Cyberthreats and cyberattacks are on the increase, and so is the extent of the financial loss.
Yet, when the Internet was first invented, security was not a concern for the inventors. In fact, the Internet was originally designed for use by a closed circle of (mainly) academics. Communication among its users was open.
Cybersecurity came into sharper focus with the Internet expansion beyond the circle of the Internet pioneers. The Internet reiterated the old truism that technology can be both enabling and threatening. What can be used to the advantage of society can also be used to its disadvantage.