Admitting that the web has created opportunity for cheats, promoted hatred and made all kinds of crime easier to commit, web inventor Tim Berners-Lee has said it is possible to change the web for the better in the next 30 years.
"But given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can't be changed for the better in the next 30," Berners-Lee said in a letter on Monday, a day before the celebration of 30 years of the World Wide Web.
The web has created opportunity and made our lives easier, but many people feel afraid and unsure if the web is really a force for good, he said, adding that he sees three sources of dysfunction affecting today's web.
These are deliberate, malicious intent, such as state-sponsored hacking and attacks, criminal behaviour, and online harassment.
He said that governments, technology companies and web users around the world have to make their contributions to make the web safer in the next 30 years.
"Governments must translate laws and regulations for the digital age. They must ensure markets remain competitive, innovative and open," Berners-Lee said.
While companies must do more to ensure their pursuit of short-term profit is not at the expense of human rights, democracy or public safety, citizens must hold companies and governments accountable for the commitments they make, he added.
"Today, half of the world is online. It is more urgent than ever to ensure the other half is not left behind offline and that everyone contributes to a web that drives equality, opportunity and creativity," he wrote.
Working at CERN, Switzerland, Berners-Lee laid out the basic concepts of the WWW in a proposal for an information management system 30 years ago.