Monday, June 2, 2008

Constitutional Amendment for Free Internet

We need a Constitutional Amendment that guarantees "the right to a free internet" for the same reason the original Bill of Rights include "the right to bear arms". Basically, to keep the United States from being turned into some sort of tyrannical government.

In colonial times the way to fight tyranny was through the use of armed conflict, but in modern times the military has such superior weapons that an insurgency based on the use of hand weapons would have little hope of success.

Today the greatest threat to a free society is through control of the news and information that the public receives. We have already seen this with the post 9/11 Patriot Act and the Iraq War. The most effective means for individual citizens to organize and combat this is through the spread of information through the internet.

So today we need "the right to a free internet". Free does not necessarily mean free in cost, but more so free access. Of course if the cost is exorbitantly high then access is only "free" to those who can afford the price. So it is of major importance that the price be maintained at a relatively low level, and even be provided free where that makes economic and social sense.

It is also important that internet users be able to maintain a certain level of anonymity to keep the government from spying on individuals.

The use of DRM is of concern as it enforces the rights of corporations over the rights of individuals and could be used to eventually destroy the "free internet" as we know it.

Some have taken this concept a step farther and have talked about "Digital Rights". It's possible that what we actually need is a whole new "Digital Bill of Rights", which would be the modern digital equivalent of the current Bill of Rights in the US Constitution.

I will continue to discuss this issue on this blog and at some point begin to submit articles to Digg to disseminate the information more widely.

This is a follow-up to a recent post titled "The times changin' again". This update was inspired by a recent Digg post titled " 2012: The Year The Internet Ends" which touches on a similar theme.

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