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The Great Charter

A panel of experts discuss the need for a Magna Carta for the digital age, and the threat to civilisation as outlined in the BBC World Service drama, The Great Charter

Eight hundred years ago England’s King John and the country’s warring barons agreed on a peace treaty that would resolve future disputes and curb the king's power. It was called the Magna Carta – and is enshrined today as a democratic principle. On its anniversary the BBC World Service has commissioned a drama, The Great Charter, which updates the story behind the Magna Carta and "charts the fight for rights and freedoms in the 21st Century’s supra-state: the Internet".

The Great Charter imagines a scary future where civilisation as we know it is collapsing because the networks have failed. Only one man – an engineer - can bring the world back from the abyss. But there is a heavy price to pay. The Great Charter explores a range of contemporary issues such as information security and cyber-terrorism. To reflect on some of its themes Click assembles a panel of experts including Matthew Solon who wrote the play, the computer scientist, Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Mahima Kaul who heads the Cyber and Media Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation in India.

(Image caption: Behind the scenes of The Great Charter, from left to right are Nicolas Jackson (director), Harry Ditson (Jed Baron), Amira Ghazalla (Mahvash Sassani) and Steve Bond (sound designer) - used with kind permission of Goldhawk Productions)

Available now

28 minutes

Broadcasts

The Great Charter: Drama

The Great Charter: Drama

Charts the fight for rights and freedoms in the 21st century’s supra-state - the internet

The Legacy of Magna Carta

The Legacy of Magna Carta

The legacy of the charter on political and digital systems.

Podcast