Web inventor Berners-Lee launches 'Contract' to save the internet
Tim Berners-Lee wants to stop society squandering the potential of the web. (Credit: AP/Lionel Cironneau)

Tim Berners-Lee wants to stop society squandering the potential of the web. (Credit: AP/Lionel Cironneau)

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee has unveiled a "Contract for the Web" in an attempt to secure the future of the internet. 

Bringing together 80 organizations from business, government and civil society, Berners-Lee hopes to guide digital policy the world over to ensure the web is for everyone, by everyone. 

"The power of the web to transform people's lives, enrich society and reduce inequality is one of the defining opportunities of our time. But if we don't act now – and act together – to prevent the web being misused by those who want to exploit, divide and undermine, we are at risk of squandering that potential," Berners-Lee said in a statement.


What does the Contract ask?


- Ensure everyone can access the internet

- Keep the whole web available, all the time

- Respect and protect online privacy and data



- Make the web affordable and accessible 

- Respect privacy, build trust

- Develop tech to support the best ideas and challenge the worst



- Create and collaborate

- Respect civil discourse and dignity 

- Fight for the web 


More than 150 organisations including companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Reddit and interest groups such as Reporters Without Borders and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have backed the plan, as have the governments of France, Germany and Ghana.

"I will stand up for the preservation of the free internet that we have grown to know and love in recent decades," said Peter Altmaier, Germany's economy minister.


Why should I care? 

Although the Contract doesn't hold any legal weight, that doesn't mean it won't in the future. 

Several governments have signed up to the Contract and its authors have stated it is their aim to "embed the Contract principles in other international forums such as the UN and in national laws and regulations." 

Source(s): AFP