Tim Berners-Lee The insidious nature of government spying has a chilling and subtle effect on Web freedoms that could ultimately be more damaging to society than outright censorship, World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee told the audience at the launch of the World Wide Web Foundation’s 2013 Web Index findings.

The legacy of the revelations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden into the actions of national security agencies (the NSA, GCHQ, and others) will be long-lasting, intimated Berners-Lee.

While nations such as China openly engage in censorship, what the US and the UK have done could potentially leave a trail of paranoia that in turn leads to a trend for self-censorship among citizens of the allegedly “free” West. “The question of ‘who is it that’s got the off switch for our connectivity’ started to be asked because of Egypt,” said Berners-Lee. “It’s a rather obvious thing you can see happening, and a country that does that doesn’t get very far. Turning off the Internet got the youths onto the streets because that’s what they had left to do. So blocking of the Internet is kind of obvious.

And censorship in places like China is obvious too when it comes to blocking whole websites. It’s hard to pretend it doesn’t exist when the rest of the Web has links to those websites. 0     

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