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Digital Bill of Rights – A Call to Action!

Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web as an ‘Internet for everyone’.

He offered this invention as an open-source digital commons for all of us to use and share. Tim built on existing technologies such as the Transmission Control Protocol, Domain Names and Standard Mark-Up Language, which were invented by universities paid for by taxpayer funding and with an implicit right to shared common ownership by everyone.

As we approach 25 years of the WWW, the risk of the shrinking of the commons created by Tim is looming large, driven by the US and Asia-based tech suppliers with no understanding of digital commons and no personal digital rights protection afforded by the legal systems in their own countries.

We call upon you and all Internet stakeholders to help us to cease the relentless digital asset-stripping and aggressive privatisation of the digital commons; to stop appropriation of users’ personal data; and to end the erosion of Internet freedoms, the threat to equal access and risks to network transparency.

We call for a regulatory framework to guarantee future generations the affordable high-speed Internet with equal access to avoid favouring big corporations over new companies or cities over rural areas.

As the digital space is increasingly under threat of falling under the aggressive Asian and US-based tech suppliers, who have no culture or history of digital commons, and no legal personal data protection for individuals, we need to start protecting our Digital Citizenship rights country-by-country.

The UK has a historical responsibility to ensure the digital commons thrive as the heart of the innovation and collaboration in the New Digital Economy. We need to demonstrate leadership, and put in place a UK-wide framework which will serve as a template for the EU and other countries where cultural understanding of the commons and personal data protection has been absent.

Echoing Jean-Jacques Rousseau, it comes down to whether we see the future of Digital Britain as a passive theatre, a nation of digital consumers, users logging to watch iPlayer, update Facebook statuses and use online shopping, or something more… We envision a Britain as a wired carnival, a nation of digital citizens, creators, artists, educators and entrepreneurs leading the way into the networked future.

We ask you to support the Digital Bill of Rights:

1. To stop the abuse of our data and ensure that personal digital data ownership is a human right, protected by law in the EU and specifically in the UK.

2. To stop blanket surveillance and reform the oversight of state surveillance, introducing a public jury as part of the transparent oversight system, insuring that outside interests are not permitted for any of the members of the Oversight Surveillance Committee.

3. To build an open, decentralised business environment with equal access to the Internet for everyone, everywhere.

4. To ensure that access to the Internet does not favour large monopolies and tech heavyweights over smaller companies, charities and community interest organisations; ensure Net Neutrality in the UK and EU.

5. To improve cybersecurity and strong authentication; end government ‘backdoor’ demands on Internet technology platforms to compromise their and our cybersecurity.

6.To support the development of free and open software as the strong foundation of the Internet’s community tools, supporting the access to tools of co-working and collaboration for all active digital creators.

7. Support copyright reform to ensure innovation is supported by a modern legal framework, ensuring open access to culture, that the next generation maintains common creative cultural capital.

8. To develop the digital education framework that skills up the creators and not just the users, supporting educators in both schools, colleges and universities in their mission to equip the new generation with the means to support themselves as producers and creators in the New Digital Economy.

The Digital Bill of Rights is currently being formulated and will be to be presented before Parliament within the next year for debate by a cross-party group of MPs.
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About James Moulding

One comment

  1. Hi

    It might be interesting to engage the support of commercial entities that want what you want. Some of us have been determining a self-regulatory scheme for sometime, recognise regulation lags that reality of online engagement by 5-10 years. What you need is commercial entities signing up to explicit action that lead to the kind of Internet you highlight here.

    Let me know if you want to talk more.

    Geoff Revill