— Digital Bill of Rights —

by Patrick O'Brien

“We the people of the Internet, in order to form a more altruistic online existence, establish privacy of user data, ensure protections for all individuals, provide for the common checks and balances of our online rights, promote the general welfare, and secure the liberty of our online identities and our information, do ordain and establish this Digital Bill of Rights for the people of the Internet.”  ~ Mashable

1. The user shall have the right to access the Internet.

2. Each and every user shall be offered equal protections of privacy and free speech regardless of nationality, religion or political beliefs.

3. The user shall have the right for his or her view of the Internet to be uncensored and unrestricted.

4. The user has the freedom to choose and control with whom he or she shares his or her activity or personal information. Furthermore, data that a user uploads to an online service shall not be shared with other users except at their consent.

5. The user has the right to all his or her original content, works and information he or she uploads on or produces for the Internet.

6. The user shall have the right to terminate his or her participation with any online service at any time. If a user wants to terminate a relationship with a web-based service, the user shall have the right to delete his or her user data from said service.

7. The user’s online user data and personal communications, including but not limited to email, instant messages, social media and audio and video conferences, shall have the same legal protections as a user’s traditional letters, phone calls and any other physical correspondence or records.

8. No entity — government, law enforcement agency, corporation or human — may collect, examine, steal or otherwise utilize a user’s data without the permission of the user, barring legally justified data collection/search/seizure.

9. The user shall have the right to remain anonymous online, and shall only reveal his or her identity to whom they choose.

10. The user shall have the right to use the Internet without his or her activity and/or communications being monitored by any government or agency.