contractor Edward Snowden showed that rights had been set back.
"The rights of the individual have been severely eroded and eroded in secret," he said of the U.S. and British surveillance programmes. "It is a very serious threat to the Internet."
While he admitted the state needed the power to tackle criminals using the Internet, he called for greater oversight over spy agencies such Britain's GCHQ and the NSA, and over any organisations collecting information about private individuals.
"It is clear in the case of the U.S. and the UK that there just has not been that oversight and accountability to the public," he said.
"Whatever oversight you have has to be very strong, have the ability to find things out and strong rights to be told things ... It has got to be very seriously independent and accountable directly to the public rather than accountable through some secret route to part of government."
Britain's spy chiefs have argued that media reports about Snowden's revelations have weakened the ability of the security services to stop those plotting deadly attacks against the West.
Britain came third in the rankings, the same as in 2012 but below Norway in second place. Russia, the world's biggest energy producer, was at 41 in the ranking.
A map of the world produced by Berners-Lee's foundation showed Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as countries which extensively censored political content.
So was it really worth inventing the World Wide Web, and has it been a force for good or for evil?
"Overall, it has been a staggering force for good because it has been so empowering for humanity," he said. "Humanity is basically good, creative and collaborative."