The founder of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has launched a scathing attack on the controversial SOPA and PIPA legislation being pushed through in the US, arguing it is a threat to the core values of the web.
Speaking exclusively to V3 at IBM's Lotusphere event in Florida, the W3C director explained that SOPA posed a grave threat to the openness of the internet and had to be stopped.
"The laws have been put together to allow an industry body to ask the government to turn off a web site and the government can make people turn off the site without trial," he told V3.
"There are times when that could be very powerful and damaging, like before an election and it is crossing a line and we have to protect the internet as an open space, we have to respect it."
Berners-Lee praised the work of Google in censoring its logo and Wikipedia for shutting down access to its site as helping draw attention to the issue in the US.
"Folks in the UK should not be complacent. There are plenty of laws they should look out for already on the books that also have issues," he added, most likely referencing the Digital Economy Act, which was passed in 2010.
Berners-Lee had earlier spoken to attendees at the event in Orlando and urged people to make their concerns over the proposed legislation known.
"These acts have not been put together to respect human rights, as is right for a democratic country," he said.
The protests over SOPA and PIPA have seen several notable sites take public action to show their concern with the proposed laws, including Wikipedia blocking access to its site for 24 hours.
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.