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Democracy under threat from government surveillance, says web founder

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Matt Warman
London Telegraph
November 22, 2013

Launching his second annual Web Index today, Sir Tim Berners Lee will say that “a growing tide of surveillance and censorship now threatens the future of democracy. Bold steps are needed now to protect our fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and association online.”

Measuring growth, use and freedom of the internet in 81 countries, the Web Index places Sweden and Norway as the countries benefiting most from the web, ahead of the UK and America in third and forth place respectively.

“One of the most encouraging findings of this year’s Web Index is how the web and social media are increasingly spurring people to organise, take action and try to expose wrongdoing in every region of the world,” Sir Tim will say. He will note, however, the chilling effect that comes because “some governments are threatened by this”.

He credited social media such as Twitter and Facebook with allowing citizens more power to influence Governments. “The Web and social media are leading to real-world change”, the Web Index claims. In four out of five of the countries studied, they had played a role in public mobilisation in the past year, and in half of these cases had been “a major catalyst”.

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This article was posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 5:39 am

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