A Declaration of Independence for Cyberspace
Section I: Definition of Terms
- Any person or persons with an online presence who wishes to be
declared a member of the greater society that is cyberspace.
- A society with a fully digital presence in which members of the
society contribute to the constant flow of information and interact with one another through digital means. This society exists within many protocols, most famously HTTP, but other network protocols as well.
- Traditional (land-based)
- A term used to define societies and governments that
exist in the physical world, as opposed to the virtual world.
- A body with a government that exists in the physical world.
Examples include the United States of America, Russia, China, etc.
- Thoughts and facts conveyed from one person to another;
specifically for the purposes of this declaration, thoughts and facts conveyed from one person to another by digital means.
Section II: Declaration
We, the netizens of cyberspace, do hereby declare autonomy and independence from the nation-states of the phyiscal world. As netizens in a society devoid of physical form no one nation-state can claim sovereignty over said society. It is necessary for us to, in order to protect the free flow of information and the natural rights to knowledge and freedom of speech, thought, religion, and expression that we must declare attempts to limit such rights as inconsistent with the ideologies upon which the society that is cyberspace has been built upon.
We believe that no individual's right to access knowledge, information, or express any belief or thought shall be supressed in any way, by any means. The responsibility of a body declaring sovereignty over another society is to, in fact, protect the rights of the governed. It is with this in mind that members of a society, or its citizens (in the case of cyberspace its netizens), do consent to necessary restrictions and laws in exchange for the complete protections of said rights. In the event that the governing body begins infringing upon the foundational rights of said society it is not only the right but the responsibility of the society's citizens to remove the governing from power and institute a government that will protect the rights of every citizen.
It is difficult for a traditional nation-state to recognize such an abstract society to be sure. However, in this modern world of bits and bytes each traditional (land-based) society must acquiesce to certain ideologies in need of changing.
Unprotected information within cyberspace is freely accessible and access is not to be punished.
That cyberspace consists of a society of netizens that are otherwise not bound in traditional terms of geography or proximity.
That data is transferred and every human being has a right to access data and expand their knowledge.
That information shall be free when it can be used for the further good of society.
That privacy is a natural right and the individual can take whatever steps they deem necessary to maintain that right.
That thought, expression, and speech are free and no opinion shall be denied; although actions may be dangerous and are to be prevented, no prevention shall be made of the thought that may inform said action.
Every person on the internet, regardless of ethnicity, gender, creed, belief, sexuality, or any other personally defining characteristic is decidedly equal, deserving the same rights and level of treatment of every other.
With these enumerations, we declare that no traditional (land-based) society shall be allowed, nor shall attempt, to prevent any act protected by the above truths.
It has been since the early days of cyberspace, when bullitein boards and gopher-nets were the primary protocols, that traditional (land-based) nation-states attempted to restrict the rights of netizens. With attempts at stifling the free flow of information, restricting access, and placing transfer caps to prevent netizens from being able to access cyberspace. Even in our modern world similar attempts are being made with renewed fervor as nation-states and corporations want to monetize data and access. Even going so far as to blatantly lie to real-world citizens about the workings of networks in an attempt to have them accept data-caps of ridiculously low transfer amounts to offset netizens who move to network services as opposed to traditional media outlets. These atrocities will be largely unsuccessful, to be sure, however the fact that they occur is no less troubling.
We, thusly, state that we have no desire in governance from tradtional societies or their associated nation-states. We have, repeatedly, made such declarations of our lack of desire and wish this to be our last required attempt. We declare that our rights and freedoms are our own, to be protected by our society and within we shall find our collaborative governing and maintenance of mores and laws. We keep to our own and ensure that the rights and freedoms of all are protected and have our own methods on determining and controlling that which we find unethical or distasteful for the smooth ongoings of our society.
Therefore: we declare our independence for the protection of information flow, and for the protection of the rights above.