Below is John Perry Barlow's Cyberspace Declaration of Independence.
 John co-founded EFF.
 It's reproduced from the "VTW BillWatch #36" electronic newsletter.
 It needs no comment from me.  It deserves from you some attention and
 long, hard thought.
 People everywhere, in many countries, in thousands of newsgroups,
 are disconnectedly talking about net censorship.  But - unlike the
 Christian Coalition and other rightwing constituents who pushed U.S.
 net-censorship through - we have no central forum in which to meet.
 Check out and read through all those links, including
 one to the VTW, from which this writing is drawn.  There's a new page,, that may turn into a "place."  Then work.  Give
 your time, your money, your intellect, your effort, to the avenue in which
 you will do most good.  And - always - spread the word.
 I don't subscribe to the no-property theory, since some need to make a living
 by copyright.  But I'm sure as hell moved by John's American-Revolution-style
 statement on the primacy of human thought.
  Date: Fri, 9 Feb 1996 17:16:35 +0100
  From: John Perry Barlow 
  Subject: A Cyberspace Independence Declaration
  A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace
  Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and
  steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the
  future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome
  among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
  We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I
  address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty
  itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are
  building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to
  impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess
  any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.
  Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
  You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you.
  You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not
  lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though
  it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of
  nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.
  You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did
  you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our
  culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our
  society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.
  You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use
  this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these
  problems don't exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are
  wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are
  forming our own Social Contract . This governance will arise according
  to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.
  Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought
  itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications.
  Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not
  where bodies live.
  We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or
  prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station
  of birth.
  We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her
  beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into
  silence or conformity.
  Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and
  context do not apply to us. They are based on matter, There is no
  matter here.
  Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order
  by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened
  self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our
  identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The
  only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize
  is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular
  solutions on that basis.  But we cannot accept the solutions you are
  attempting to impose.
  In the United States, you have today created a law, the
  Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution
  and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison,
  DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.
  You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a
  world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you
  entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are
  too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments
  and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are
  parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot
  separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.
  In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United
  States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting
  guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the
  contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that
  will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.
  Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate
  themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to
  own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas
  to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our
  world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and
  distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no
  longer requires your factories to accomplish.
  These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same
  position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination
  who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We
  must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we
  continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread
  ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.
  We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be
  more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.
  Davos, Switzerland
  February 8, 1996
  John Perry Barlow, Cognitive Dissident
  Co-Founder, Electronic Frontier Foundation