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Governments should be held to account for data use, says Web inventor

Tim Berners Lee calls for transparency from government, law enforcement

Governments should be held to account for data use, says Web inventor
Berners Lee: We need to change laws and change the structure of government agencies.

The man credited with inventing the World Wide Web has urged action to make global governments more accountable for the way they use their citizens' data.

Sir Tim Berners Lee, taking part in a Reddit AMA yesterday, said online privacy was "an important question, with no simple answer".

"We must work with government to make them accountable when they use our personal data, however they got it," Berners Lee posted, in response to a question about privacy. "Just a battle of crypto might is not a solution, we also need to change laws and change the structure of government agencies."

He also suggested new powers for law enforcement, but said transparency and accountability would also have to apply to police forces.

"And we need to encrypt email and Web traffic everywhere, for general security," he added.

Berners Lee also stressed the importance of net neutrality in the wake of the US FCC's recent issuance of rules limiting providers on how they can charge for Internet access.

"We do so much cool stuff on top of the network layer, it has to remain an unbiased infrastructure for all our discussion and innovation," he said. "I must have the right to be able to communicate with whatever or whoever I want, without discrimination, be it political or commercial."

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