05/02/2015 17:32 GMT | Updated 05/02/2015 17:59 GMT

Tim Berners-Lee Says Internet Access Is Becoming 'More And More Like A Human Right'

Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images
Sir Tim Berners-Lee inventor of the World Wide Web arrives at Guildhall to receive an Honorary Freedom of the City of London award on September 24, 2014 in London, England. During the ceremony involving the 125 elected Members of the City of London Corporation, Sir Tim will be invited to join the ranks of leading world figures and statesmen, such as Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill, Florence Nightingale, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, and most recently, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (Photo by Peter

Access to the internet is becoming "more and more" like a human right, according to the inventor of the world wide web. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who has called for the creation of "Magna Carta for the digital age", said people wanted access to the web to be seen in the same way as utilities like water.

Speaking in the Royal Gallery at London's House of Lords at an event celebrating the 800 years since the signing of Magna Carta, he called for people to think about rules and rights online.

He said: "Because we do use it in such intimate parts of our lives, because we need it to do things so very easily compared to somebody else who doesn't have the internet, we found that people wanted to talk about it more and more like a human right. It's up there with things like - recently adopted - the right to water."

Sir Tim said rights are "meant to be defined" and now "the time is that humanity generally is very excited about using new technology and a little bit, in a way, unsafe, a little bit concerned. Everything is changing faster and faster and so a lot of people are realising we need to throw out some anchors, we need some stability, we need things like rules."

The scientist launched his campaign for an internet Magna Carta last year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his invention.

He said: "One of the things we say about the internet is it is a permissionless space, it's one of the things that we like. That property, the fact you can do what you like, connect to other people - those things that people take for granted, we have been asking people to think about."

Sir Tim said he was "asking everybody to think about and make that Magna Carta for the digital age, to write those things big on the virtual walls globally".

He said the revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden had shone a spotlight on the issue of online privacy but people were not just "worrying about if the Government is spying on us" there were also concerns about states "blocking" people's access.

Sir Tim was speaking at an event to celebrate the four surviving versions of Magna Carta being on show in the House of Lords.