Oh, dear, I knew it. Tim Berners-Lee and the gang are getting up a head of steam on this idea of a "Magna Carta for the Internet". I predicted this when I noticed some of the things they were getting up to lately, remember?
We need, in fact, a Magna Carta to free us from them.
Berners-Lee is utterly, completely hypocritical here. It's largely thanks to his collectivism vision of the Internet that *engineered into* the Internet is a) lack of privacy -- he was for endless public collaboration and no creation of locked off spaces or private corporate spaces; b) lack of commercialism/capitalism/private property -- he hated commerce on the internet like many of the technocommunists who pioneered the early Internet and engineered it out -- he hated DRM, securing of private property through code; c) he was not for copyright protection but for "sharing" because he believed copyright was part of that corporativist, commercial vision of the net he hated. To the extent the Internet succeeded such that you can even write these thoughts on something called Facebook is a triumph of reason and normal capitalism over these sectarian freaks who tried to engineer their socialist vision into the Internet. I am not kidding, Andrew. That is indeed what it's about. That's why this talk of "open" and "neutral" is really hogwash until we can route around -- which the Internet is good at doing -- all this forced communist march to "liberation" of content and property, anonymity and anarchy, and enable a real open society which in fact will be based on private property that is secured under the rule of law. That's how privacy has always been secured, and thinking you get it from sectarian coders is a deep delusion.
Even Cory Doctorow, the content liberationist extraordinaire, has been given pause by the horrible conundrum (horrible for copyleftists) of the need for code that protest privacy -- essentially a DRM -- and the DRM on content they oppose.
Hmm, how to square that circle?
Well, you can't.
DRM is about corporations -- and that means governments -- not coders and various loose Wired State formations like Cory and his friends running things. That's why they hate it. Cory spends an inordinate amount of time fighting US-EU trade agreements and other international agreements that have copyright and anti-privacy as part of their rule-of-law approach.
Protection from the NSA -- if the NSA were even the thing the Snowdenistas claim, which I don't believe it is -- really does come from having a robust civil society, which means a robust private sector of free enterprise. States do not create robust civil societies, and for that matter, corporations alone don't create them, but neither do NGOs or social movements of the Occupy or Pirate Party or Crypto Party sort.
As I keep repeating, and I am probably the only one in the world with this perspective, had we passed CISPA, which would have forced Obama to submit to regulated relations with the Big IT companies instead of just have secret deals with them and fending off their lawsuits, we would have a regulatory framework for governing how people's data is kept and used. Big IT hated this, and so did Obama, so they whipsawed all the geeks on YouTube to hate it, but we'd actually have all been better off to have law governing these relations rather than secret White House meetings -- and Snowden would have had a much harder time making any case against Big IT collusion with the US government -- which in any case I believe is vastly over-stated by him, and not really the issue for us with Big IT.
The "web we want" is the sort of language Dave Winer and all the other lefty scripters and coders and Silicon Valley technocommunists have been talking about for years. We do not really want this web, because it doesn't root society in the power that civil society really needs to have: private property.
Geeks who are happy to liberate your property in piracy and doxing and collective your property on the Internet of Things are definitely not the people you want to run things.
The "web free to use for everyone" bullshit isn't something that even the most socialist societies believe in, even for electricity and phones. Even in the most heavily subsidized of societies, you pay something for light and phone. And the web is merely just another form of electricity and phones, when you take away the magical thinking around it. "Free to use for everyone" is merely another way of saying the state pays, and therefore the state controls.