"In an interview with the Guardian, Tim Berners-Lee proposes a bill of rights for the web.
His plan is part of a wider initiative, The Web We Want, a campaign for a 'free open and truly global Internet.'
Berners-Lee suggests that governments need an increased understanding of technology, and a revisiting of legal issues such as copyright law.
More controversially he proposes removal of US control of IANA claiming "The removal of the explicit link to the US department of commerce is long overdue. The US can't have a global place in the running of something which is so non-national". He sees the web at risk of fragmentation into "national silos" if people do not fight for the web.
There is potential overlap here with Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights , which states,'Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.' Would an internet bill of rights be successful in nations where the principles of the UDHR are ignored ?
Given the anarchic evolution of the internet, is it possible or desirable to attempt to control it in any way?"
It is clear to me that penning down bills of right and expect the powerful ones to obey them is not working. Why do you think you are not a man anymore, but a Human Resource? because you were forced out of the fields your family had, and went to work in factories, first you had the sun for free, the rain for free, and you use money to exchange surplus. Now you are a replaceable instrument and treated as such.
As an old saying goes in my country, those who make themselves sheep, get eaten by the wolf.
There is no technical reason why we have to use the 13 *nice number huh* root DNS servers, trust the CA authorities. There are alternatives. There is no technical reason why we cannot revert to the web 1.0 way of doing things. There is no technical reason we cannot use more ad hoc networks with different tech like lasers and light transmission or sneakernets.
We only get the rights we can defend. All the rest is forfeiting power to superior entities. Apart a hypothetical god, no superior entity has any rights unless we give them up. Fuck every beta.
because you were forced out of the fields your family had,
Sorry to interrupt your dystopian narrative, but for the vast majority of history, the vast majority of people who worked in fields didn't own the land. They worked for the elite, who did. This "freedom" you seem to think is a natural state of mankind is, on the contrary, a recent and localized anomaly in the 7,000 year history of civilization. Which makes it all the more important to do something to sustain (or renew) it.
I was simplifying but anyway I play along. I posit that the anomaly you describe is a mere change of ruling class, from the bully to the thief.
The old system used aristocratic privileges, information privileges, religion. The new system uses money and steadily proceeds to destroy every other system it competes with. When it can, it does so in the name of justice and freedom. Once that is done, serfs will return to their natural state.
Freedom is the opposite of dependency while the system we are in is made of worldwide dependencies. You have the freedom to complain about it and try to synchronize with the rest of the majority to oppose the parts you do not like, good luck with that.
I do not assume people were always free in the past, but it happened for those powerful enough. And in some civilizations it happened for a lot of people. Now even the powerful ones are so because they submit to the rules, prisoners that get a bigger bowl of food.
I'm not a historian, but I think you're wrong. You're referring to feudalism, which happened during the "Dark Ages" and Medieval times, and were also a somewhat short portion of history (though much longer than modern times). Go back a couple thousand years or more before that. In the really old days, people lived in tribes, so the people who worked in fields did own the land, along with all their fellow tribespeople. If they got into conflicts with other tribes, or decided they wanted more land, they ended up moving somewhere else and settling. 6-8000 years ago, I don't think they had feudal lords, and there was lots of land since there weren't very many people.
Depends on where you were. I was thinking not just of medieval Europe, but Babylon, Sumeria, ancient Egypt, Rome, Persia, classical Greece (Sparta and Macedonia, not Athens), classical China, classical India, Inca and Aztec civilizations. I absolutely agree that hunter/gather and nomadic societies were quite egalitarian and the people owned the land (often communally). Whenever they started settling permanently and planting crops, a ruling class quickly emerged that claimed ownership of first the land and then, usually, the people. My point is that civilization and tyranny have been two sides of the same coin, and the so-called barbarians have been closer to what we would call free.
Civilization definitely implies a certain amount of restriction of freedom: For example, we restrict the freedom of people to punch or kick other people without their consent. Without that, we'd have a hard time creating a functioning society, because you would never know if you could leave your house without getting your butt kicked, much less go about any kind of business activity.
There are a lot of options between absolute freedom for everyone and absolute tyranny (where 1 person has absolute freedom, but nobody else does) that are a lot more functional than either extreme.
The hunter/gatherer and nomadic societies had more "freedom" generally because they had more space. Most of the world was unoccupied, so if you didn't like things, you gathered your tribe with you (or members who wanted to secede from the larger tribe) and marched off to find a new place to live. With so much available land, it wasn't that hard. Also, resources were more plentiful, with the main competition being from other predator animals. When people became too numerous, this kind of carefree living had to stop, and food supplies became scarce, so people invented agriculture and started living in villages. Managing resources effectively necessitates less freedom; you can't have everyone be free to be as wasteful as they want and still maintain a functioning society, especially as people live in more crowded conditions.
Yes, in some societies, ruling classes emerged which claimed ownership of everything, but many societies did at least attempt to have a functioning government resembling modern republics. Rome is a good example of this; it lasted about 500 years as a republic, without any rulers owning everything (at least not in theory), having a rule of law, etc. It got corrupt and the republic turned into an empire, but still, 500 years is longer than the US has been around. Western civilization really went backwards in a very bad way when Rome collapsed.
I imagine Rome isn't the only example of an ancient society with a rule of law rather than a dictatorship.
Any replacement architecture for the internet absolutely has to be easy for the nontechnical to use. You can't force everybody to learn the inner workings. "What? You don't know what DNS is? No free speech for you!"
Perhaps more importantly if such a project were to succeed, ordinary people have to be able to get online securely enough that they'll feel confident spending money there. If it becomes a scammers paradise, with financial loss lurking behind every config option, ordinary people won't use it. If there's no large market of nontechnical people to sell to, the project fails when everybody is still forced to work developing the old model just to make a living.
It is clear to me that penning down bills of right and expect the powerful ones to obey them is not working.
When did that strategy ever work? After all, the original Magna Carta was accepted only because if King John hadn't the barons would have killed him.