1. ITV Report

Internet inventor slams plans to monitor the web

The inventor of the world wide web says highly controversial plans to let intelligence agencies to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of every person in the UK should be scrapped.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee said the government plans were "dangerous" and any new laws would lead to a "destruction of human rights".

World Wide Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee Credit: Reuters

New legislation is expected in next month's Queen's Speech.

It would enable GCHQ to access information on demand without a warrant.

Speaking to the Guardian, the British computer engineer said there has not been enough discussion on how the sensitive data could be safely stored.

The idea that we should routinely record information about people is obviously very dangerous. It means that there will be information around which could be stolen, which can be acquired through corrupt officials or corrupt operators, and (could be) used, for example, to blackmail people in the Government or people in the military. We open ourselves out, if we store this information, to it being abused.

– Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Sir Tim Berners-Lee advises the Government on how to make public data more accessible Credit: Reuters

The Home Secretary Theresa May defended the proposals after they faced fierce criticism from backbench MPs and civil liberties groups.

She insisted that suspected terrorists, paedophiles and serious criminals would be targeted by intelligence officials rather than ordinary people.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee added:

The amount of control you have over somebody if you can monitor internet activity is amazing. You get to know every detail, you get to know, in a way, more intimate details about their life than any person that they talk to because often people will confide in the internet as they find their way through medical websites....or as an adolescent finds their way through a website about homosexuality, wondering what they are and whether they should talk to people about it.

– Sir Tim Berners-Lee