There's a lot of talk of freedom and independence during July, especially in America. It's the core-founding principle of our nation that every citizen be entitled to their basic human rights - "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Shouldn't those same basic human rights apply to the new frontier - the Internet?
A lot of different organizations and groups are making a stand for Internet Freedom. In a similar fashion to the Declaration of Independence written almost 250 years ago, the new Declaration of Internet Freedom is meant to send a message. It's a message that's meant to inspire those fighting for the cause and to send a warning to those who would dare violate its core beliefs. Here's the preamble:
We believe that a free and open Internet can bring about a better world. To keep the Internet free and open, we call on communities, industries and countries to recognize these principles. We believe that they will help to bring about more creativity, more innovation and more open societies.
We are joining an international movement to defend our freedoms because we believe that they are worth fighting for.
Let’s discuss these principles — agree or disagree with them, debate them, translate them, make them your own and broaden the discussion with your community — as only the Internet can make possible.
Join us in keeping the Internet free and open.
As you can see, there is no real declaration yet. They are working on writing one in the same manner that the original Declaration of Independence was written years ago. The goal is to take many voices and consolidate them into a single unified shout of freedom.
TechDirt has put together a lovely infographic that details the core tenets of the current declaration. It's still a work in progress and much still needs to be done. Here's what they have so far:
The movement already has a lot of great support from various high-profile Internet activists including Reddit, EFF, Free Press and others. Unfortunately, none of the major players in the tech industry like Google or Facebook seem to even be acknowledging the existence of the declaration. Fair enough, those same companies are all for passing legislation that goes against everything the Declaration of Internet Freedom stands for.
Much like the original Declaration of Independence, the drafting of a suitable document is going to take time and the collaboration of many voices. Fortunately, we have the Internet for said collaboration these days compared to a couple of righteous dudes sitting around a house telling Thomas Jefferson what to write. To have a hand in drafting what could be a historic document, check out the discussions at reddit, step2, Cheezburger and Github.