Internet founder hits out at snooping plans

By Oliver Hotham

The man behind the founding of the world wide web has come out strongly against the government's proposed 'snooping' legislation.

In an interview, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said that attempts by governments to regulate the internet keep him "up most at night".

The web pioneer was part of the team which first created the World Wide Web network at CERN and has been a strong proponent of internet freedom and net neutrality.

He called for the legislation to be scrapped, saying that the "dangerous" proposals could lead to an erosion of civil liberties.

"The idea that we should routinely record information about people is obviously very dangerous," the web pioneer Sir Tim told the Guardian.

"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."

Sir Tim expressed fears that information collected could fall into the wrong hands and be used for blackmail or extortion.

The Home Office continues to defend the plans to extend police surveillance rules to social networks and internet phone services like Skype, saying the government is simply keeping up with technology.

The so-called 'snooping' proposals have faces strong criticism from civil liberties groups and government backbenchers, including former shadow home secretary David Davis.