Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace
The first thing i noticed after reading this article was the date at the bottom. 1996. This is right about when the Internet was getting very popular, so it is interesting to see that users already saw the threat of government getting involved on the web. In this declaration, they are asking governments to not get involved on the net. They try to explain that this place is separate for the real world and therefor should be allowed to create their own order void of laws outside of cyberspace. Forming a social contract is the aim of the declaration and the only law is the golden rule. This seems a little absurd since in a cyber world, you can never really know how you are affecting the person on the other computer. I thought that the declaration made a very good point when it says that anyone can enter this space, because in cyber space there is no prejudice of any sort. I thought that the author fell short when he criticized the ideas of Jefferson because if the Internet is a place of equality and freedom than that does not insult Jefferson, but it perpetuates the views of our founding fathers. The author also states that this place has order without rules, and automatically I ask myself the question is this really possible? The declaration aim that it will fight to stay away from governments that intervene to stop their speech. He says something like silence is conformity and that the Internet is not a place to create conformity. However I strongly disagree with that because in my point of view everything on the Internet is conformity. They are all the same series of tasks, the same layout of pages, the same way of staying connect, or finding information. It is all just a click away and in my view all this actions create conformity. Although i disagree with some of the ideas expressed in this declaration, i found it very interesting that this was already a concern for users before the Internet really took off. I also see the importance of separating governments from the Internet because if our actions are stopped inevitably the Internet will not be able to grow. As it is put in the declaration, "it grows through collective action" and since this is a public space we are all able to contribute and should not be stopped in from expressing our views as long as our actions follow the golden rule.