The Web We Want

The World Wide Web turns 25 years old next year. In that time, it’s gone from a glimmer in the eye of Tim Berners-Lee, at the time a researcher in Switzerland, to a platform enabling us to organize, create, learn, research, collaborate, speak, listen and read at virtually no cost.

The Web has enabled global communication on a spectacular new scale. Meanwhile, thanks to the open Web and the open Internet on which it rides, economies have changed. Politics have changed. Social-justice advocacy has changed. Pictures of kittens … are everywhere.

Despite all of this, the open Internet — and in turn, the open Web — is under threat like never before. Here in the U.S. and around the world, Internet service providers speak of silencing free speech online, and overreaching surveillance programs are undercutting the Internet’s security and decimating our personal privacy.

Meanwhile, the majority of people on planet Earth still do not have access to the Internet at all. No Skype, no Facebook, no Web. Period. For millions of others, broadband access is too expensive, too slow, or both. And many of those who do have broadband live in countries where the mere act of speaking out against your government online can land you in jail — or worse.

Documents ranging from the U.S. Constitution to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights all note that the ability to communicate free of censorship or surveillance is a basic human right. Today we can’t protect this right without protecting the open Web and the open Internet.

It’s in this spirit that Free Press and Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation have formed the Web We Want, a campaign to support global, national and regional efforts to make the Web universal, free and open. Our goal: creating a world where everyone, everywhere is free to collaborate and create without fear of censorship or persecution.

The Web We Want campaign is comprised of more than a dozen digital rights organizations from around the world. We just took our first step in public via a small grants program that will support local and global advocacy and campaigning efforts to make the Web free, open and accessible to all.

Check out our small grants page to learn more about the program and to apply for a small grant. And stay with us as we continue to celebrate the free, open and universal Web.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good