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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

Last Edit: 10/01/17

Was a significant paper that focused upon the government and control of information upon the Internet. It was written and released by John Perry Barlow, a poet and political activist, whose beliefs closely resemble that of the Libertarian political movement. Libertarianism advocates the minimisation or destruction of state control and the maximum level of personal liberty. An exert from the beginning of Barlow's Declaration is provided below.

The paper was written in response to the law of the 'Telecommunications Act of 1996', passed in the United States. Critics of the act believe it will foster industry consolidation of telecommunications in the United States. Since the Reagan administration, major media companies have dropped in number from fifty to five.

Barlow's Declaration is short and to the point, containing just 16 paragraphs. The gist of the paper was self governance of the Internet. Barlow believed that the Internet was beyond country borders, and therefore no one country had the mandate to apply laws to it. The paper also accused a range of major countries of trying to stifle to the free flow of the Internet. Barlow's paper was not without it's critics, some believing it juvenile and unrealistic, and worse still, some claiming it had plagiarised earlier online works.