Governments should not intervene in the running of the Internet because they are not best equipped to deal with the new medium, say the Web?s chief advocates.
Web creator Tim Berners-Lee and Lotus Development chief executive, Jeff Papows, spoke out against the US government introducing legislation for the Net at the Ebusiness World conference in Boston.
?The government?s role should be kept to the bare minimum,? said Berners-Lee at an exclusive press event. ?The US government will not endorse censorship or be forced my any other country?s government to do so,? he added.
Berners-Lee explained how as a global medium, the Internet has to take into account the different attitudes and policies of many countries.
?Europe has always had tougher measure than the US, look at the Data Protection Act in the UK,? he said, adding that the US will have to move soon to resolve issues such as exportation of information and taxation.
Papows also warned government actions could slow the Web?s growth. ?Government intervention could be the greatest impediment. If we move at Web speed, the government moves at minus-three Web speed, ? he said.
Papows also believes the lack of coordination between different states could also hinder progress. ?With provinces acting differently it creates artificial variants,? he said.
Berners-Lee applauded the work being done by various groups to protect online privacy. ?Privacy is a important human right. But there is no clear answer, we have to go back to constitution,? he warned.
He also recommends that the value of current legislation be acknowledged, ?Laws exist everywhere, whether on the Web or the real world. Cyberspace isn?t a new place.?
As director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Berners-Lee has kept out of the domain name issue, but he did say that a global entity should control the system, ?When you have something that is common to everyone it needs to be run for the people, by the people. It is essential that the system can?t be run by one country.?
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