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Tim Berners-Lee Says 'surveillance Threatens Web'

By BBC News

November 25, 2013

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The Internet is threatened by a "growing tide of surveillance and censorship," warned Sir Tim Berners-Lee as he announced the findings of this year's World Wide Web Foundation annual Web index report, which says 94 percent of the countries in the index do not adequately monitor government Internet interception.

The Web index report ranks countries in terms of the social and political impact of the Web. "One of the most encouraging findings of this year's Web index is how the Web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organize, take action, and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world," Berners-Lee says. "But some governments are threatened by this...[and] bold steps are needed now to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and association online."

Berners-Lee has been a vocal critic of government surveillance and calls attempts by spy agencies to crack encryption "appalling and foolish."

Sweden topped this year's Web index, followed by Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, and New Zealand. The report found that in 80 percent of the countries studied, the Web and social media played a role in mobilizing the public on a wide range of issues.

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