SOPA Opponents Unveil ‘Digital Bill of Rights’
The “Digital Bill of Rights” debuted at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City on Monday. The document draft comes from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), two key figures in the battle against SOPA.
Issa and Wyden created the Digital Bill of Rights because they were concerned about what seemed like a legal oxymoron: lawmakers trying to regulate the Internet without understanding how individuals use it.
“Government is flying blind, interfering and regulating without understanding even the basics,” Issa wrote on his website, keepthewebopen.com (you can find a draft of the Digital Bill of Rights there). “Where can a digital citizen turn for protection against the powerful?”
At the conference, Wyden likened this project to a digital version of the “Constitutional convention.” It’s a convention that Issa and Wyden hope Internet users will participate in. On Issa’s site, he openly encourages readers to consider the current draft and suggest revisions (at the publication of this post, several individuals have already logged in to take that offer). Currently, the ten key rights are as follows:
The right to a free and uncensored Internet.
The right to an open, unobstructed Internet.
The right to equality on the Internet.
The right to gather and participate in online activities.
The right to create and collaborate on the Internet.
The right to freely share their ideas.
The right to access the Internet equally, regardless of who they are or where they are.
The right to freely associate on the Internet.
The right to privacy on the Internet.
The right to benefit from what they create.