The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, says an "open" internet, free of Government and corporate controls, is crucial.
The physicist is in New Zealand for a series of public appearances, including a rare public lecture at Te Papa museum in Wellington.
Three hundred people attended the lecture tonight and appropriately those who missed out on tickets could log on and watch it streamed live through the internet.
Sir Tim said it was important to ensure the internet is a place of open communication.
"The fact that everybody can talk to everybody else is really important," he said ahead of his lecture which looked at the value of the 'Open Internet' and why it matters for New Zealand and the world.
"That's sometimes called net neutrality so make sure Governments and companies across the world don't try to take control of the web for their own purposes."
Sir Tim explains net neutrality to be like a sheet of paper.
"A sheet of paper does not have opinions about what's written on it. You can write good things and bad things but the paper itself is neutral."
The physicist is revered within computer programming circles for creating the system for interlinked web pages which are accessed using the internet.
Berners-Lee uploaded his first web page using the internet back in 1990 and has since overseen the development of the Web as the director of the World Wide Web Consortium.
He even had a cameo spot at the Opening Ceremony for the London Olympics last year, tweeting live from the stadium on one of the computers he used to first pioneer the Web more than 20 years ago.
The issue of copyright and internet freedom has been particularly topical in New Zealand in the past year with the ongoing extradition case for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom.
The internet tycoon is wanted by US authorities for online piracy charges related to his former file sharing website.