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But Berners-Lee said companies are looking at how to combat those, and sees other reasons to be hopeful: "People in the big companies are concerned about truth and democracy".

"The web is at a crucial point", Berners-Lee said in excerpts from his speech launching the project at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon on Monday.

However, that vision has withered on the vine.

Since its inception, Sir Tim Berner's Lee has been a proponent of the free and open nature of the web, and has often warned against complacency in protecting it. The lack of privacy, the spread of misinformation, and lack of transparency in online political advertising are some of the biggest rotten apples. This could take the form of company employees speaking out or average citizens lobbying to hold a tech firm or government accountable, Berners-Lee said.

"We have to create a contract for the web ..."

Can a contract save the internet from abuse?

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web almost 30 years ago. The date marks the earliest estimate for when 50% or more of humanity will be connected to the Internet. "I can't predict whether that will happen", he said.

However, despite these efforts, Berbers-Lee insists that the world needs a "new Contract for the Web, with clear and tough responsibilities for those who have the power to make it better".

Trump warns House Democrats about gridlock over investigations
Trump said in a tweet earlier Wednesday that Pelosi "deserves" to be House speaker, and even offered to help provide the votes. Barbara Comstock in a district that went for Clinton over Trump in the 2016 presidential election , 52 percent to 42 percent.

Countries are increasingly shutting down the Internet during elections or protests.

Last week, Berners-Lee told Reuters that giant tech corporations like Google and Facebook may have to be "broken up" to mitigate the "danger of concentration". Overall, they say the products they've worked on have grown to become addictive and harmful to society.

Facebook and Google have backed the contract, which will be agreed in detail next year, despite both companies being mentioned by its creator as examples of how "the web we know and love" is under threat.

"We have big and small players, it's not the United Nations of the digital world, it's a call for voluntary engagement, for those who want to be part of the solution, whether they're part of the problem or not", the foundation's policy director, Nnenna Nwakanma, told AFP.

So people are in control of their lives online. The foundation estimates that over 1.5 billion people now live in countries which has no concrete laws on personal data protection.

The "contract" describes core principals, such as ensuring that everyone worldwide can connect to the internet, keep the information stored on it available to all, respect people's fundamental right to privacy, be creators and collaborators on the web, and more.

Still, there is hope in sight. The contract he put forward on Monday is a framework for doing that, and is created to be a serious commitment by the citizens, governments and companies that sign up to it. With such support, the Contract may just turn out fine. I grew up on the wild web of yore, and I will die on the hill of free, neutral internet if need be. Berners-Lee is against this, claiming that "if you sign up to the principles, you can't do censorship". He claims it is the government's responsibility to see that all citizens have internet access. Those of us who are online are seeing our rights and freedoms threatened. At the same time we have an obligation to help the others get online. Will it be persuasive enough for the Chinese government to be more open?