clear
Tuesday June 30th, 2015 3:42PM

Web inventor: Surveillance threatens democracy

By The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) -- The scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web spoke out Friday against what he called a "growing tide of surveillance and censorship," warning that it is threatening the future of democracy.

Tim Berners-Lee, who launched the Web in 1990, made the remarks as he released his World Wide Web Foundation's annual report tracking the Web's impact and global censorship. The index ranked Sweden first in Web access, openness and freedom, followed by Norway, the U.K. and the United States.

"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," said Berners-Lee, 58.

"But some governments are threatened by this, and a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threatens the future of democracy," he said, adding that steps need to be taken to protect privacy rights and ensure users can continue to gather and speak out freely online.

The warning from Berners-Lees is the latest in a global debate about surveillance and privacy, sparked by the release of classified documents leaked by former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden that showed the extent of government spying on people's online lives. While the leaks focused on the work of the NSA, scrutiny has since spread to other Western intelligence agencies.

Friday's report said online spying and blocking are on the rise around the world, and politically sensitive Web content is blocked in almost one in three countries. Despite their high overall rankings, the U.S. and Britain both received mediocre scores for safeguarding users' privacy.

Mexico was the highest ranking emerging economy at 30th. Russia came in 41st, China was at 57th, and Mali, Ethiopia and Yemen were at the bottom of the list. Rich countries did not necessarily do better than poorer ones - Estonia, for example, ranked higher than Switzerland, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia performed far worse than their income ranking would suggest.

Many of the 81 countries surveyed have failed to use the Web to properly disseminate basic information on health and education, and the majority of governments hide important data such as information about land ownership and company registration, the report said.

About 39 percent of the global population was online in 2013 - more than double from 2005, which recorded 16 percent. In Africa, fewer than one in five people are using the Internet, with many saying they cannot afford it.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Feds announce test sites for drone aircraft
The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states on Monday that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies.
2:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Congress letting 55 tax breaks expire at year end
In an almost annual ritual, Congress is letting a package of 55 popular tax breaks expire at the end of the year, creating uncertainty - once again - for millions of individuals and businesses.
2:21PM ( 1 year ago )
Feeling US snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere
Increasingly vocal in its frustration over U.S. policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.
4:34PM ( 1 year ago )
Politics
US stocks rebound from slump as investors follow Greek drama
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks gained on Tuesday afternoon, rebounding from big losses a day earlier, as investors followed the latest negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors. Greece'...
2:53PM ( 48 minutes ago )
O say can you breathe? Fireworks pollute air, study says
NEW YORK (AP) — July Fourth fireworks fill the skies across the nation with more than sparkling bursts of color. They spew pollution, too.A study of 315 locations around the country found that the hol...
2:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Same-sex marriage fight turns to clerk who refuse licenses
Some public officials across the Bible Belt so repulsed by the thought of enabling a same-sex marriage that they are defying the U.S. Supreme Court and refusing to issue a license to anyone, gay or straight.
2:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
Oklahoma court: Ten Commandments monument must come down
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds is a religious symbol and must be removed because it violates the state's constitutional ban on using public property t...
2:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
Christie promises blunt campaign as he enters 2016 contest
LIVINGSTON, N.J. (AP) — A tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched his 2016 campaign for president Tuesday with a promise to tell voters the truth even if it makes them cringe.The Republi...
1:37PM ( 2 hours ago )