Skip to Content
Tech policy

The web’s creator says: let’s regulate Big Tech

Tim Berners-Lee has written an open letter describing how to clean up the web.

The status quo: Berners-Lee points in particular to conspiracy theories, fake news, election meddling, and huge hacks to argue that the web is no longer the “free, open, creative space” it was.

Big problems: Just “a handful of platforms ... control which ideas and opinions are seen,” says Berners-Lee. Firms like Facebook and Google, he says, gobble talent, hoard data, and have business models “built to maximise profit more than to maximise social good.”

A solution? “A legal or regulatory framework that accounts for social objectives may help ease those tensions,” suggests Berners-Lee. He doesn’t, however, provide any finer details about what exactly that might entail.

+ The mayor of London and even some Republicans seem to agree with him on holding Big Tech to account.


Deep Dive

Tech policy

How to preserve your digital memories

Following recent announcements by Google and Twitter, more data deletion policies are coming.

Your digital life isn’t as permanent as you think it is

Google will delete accounts after two years of inactivity, and experts expect more data deletion policies to come

Catching bad content in the age of AI

Why haven’t tech companies improved at content moderation?

Behind the scenes of Carnegie Mellon’s heated privacy dispute

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University wanted to create a privacy-preserving smart sensor. They were accused of violating privacy instead.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.