• A Digital Citizens Bill of Rights

last modified September 14, 2013 by strypey


From Keep the Web Open

A Digital Citizen's Bill of Rights


I believe that individuals possess certain fundamental rights. Government should exist to protect those rights against those who would violate them. That is the revolutionary principle at the heart of the American Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. No one should trample our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That's why the Bill of Rights is an American citizen's first line of defense against all forms of tyranny.

But where can a digital citizen turn for protection against the powerful? This question lay at the heart of the fight to stop SOPA and PIPA and keep the web open. While I do not have all the answers, the remarkable cooperation we witnessed in defense of an open Internet showed me three things. First, government is flying blind, interfering and regulating without understanding even the basics. Second, we have a rare opportunity to give government marching orders on how to treat the Internet, those who use it and the innovation it supports. And third, we must get to work immediately because our opponents are not giving up.

We need to frame a digital Bill of Rights. This is my first draft. I need your help to get this right, so I published it here in Madison for everyone to comment, criticize and collaborate. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing to work together to keep the web open.

-Congressman Darrell Issa

    The Digital Bill of Rights

     1. Freedom - digital citizens have a right to a free, uncensored internet
     2. Openness - digital citizens have a right to an open, unobstructed internet
     3. Equality - all digital citizens are created equal on the internet
     4. Participation - digital citizens have a right to peaceably participate where and how they choose on the internet
     5. Creativity - digital citizens have a right to create, grow and collaborate on the internet, and be held accountable for what they create
     6. Sharing - digital citizens have a right to freely share their ideas, lawful discoveries and opinions on the internet
     7. Accessibility - digital citizens have a right to access the internet equally, regardless of who they are or where they are
     8. Association - digital citizens have a right to freely associate on the internet
     9. Privacy - digital citizens have a right to privacy on the internet
     10. Property - digital citizens have a right to benefit from what they create, and be secure in their intellectual property on the internet