Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has thrown his weight behind a new campaign to encourage people across the world to fight back against online censorship and surveillance.
In a letter to the Financial Times on Thursday, Sir Tim wrote that “now is the time for citizens to mobilise to demand that governments and companies respect and protect our basic freedoms online”.
Interesting commentary from around the Web on the tech story that made headlines this week.
How Twitter handled the suspension of a user who criticised NBC’s coverage of the Olympics drew plenty of attention from online commentators this week. For many, it offered a fresh reminder that when it comes to online services, just because users don’t pay a fee doesn’t mean it’s completely free.
Twitter has gained something of a reputation for standing up for internet users against institutional authority, for instance in fighting a gag order in the Wikileaks case.
But even Twitter has to bow to censorship sometimes.
Internet filters have become more powerful and continue to be used more widely for government censorship – as shown most recently in this week’s report from the OpenNet Initiative on the state of the art in the Middle East and Africa.
So it’s worth celebrating when the rising tide of official censorship is kept at bay, even if such victories are hedged with qualifications, and are by no means certain to last.