A Magna Carta for the Internet

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The original Magna Carta was sealed in 1215 and, according to the British Library, "established for the first time the principle that everybody, including the king, was subject to the law." The document, created to quell King John's issues with rebel barons, dealt with "specific grievances regarding the ownership of land, the regulation of the justice system, and medieval taxes." Eight hundred years later, the citizens of Britain are speaking up again about demands that are thoroughly modern in nature: They've created a list of wants for the Internet.

In honor of the anniversary of Magna Carta, the British Library hosted a poll to create a "bill of rights" for the digital age. Over 3000 people submitted 500 clauses, and then the citizens of the web voted on which they felt were most important for a fair and safe Internet.

The formal top 10 were released on June 15, and represented a call for freedom of information and an Internet free of any censorship. Privacy was also a big concern, with voters saying that the web they want will "not sell our personal information and preferences for money, and will make it clearer if the company/Website intends to do so."

British Library

You can still vote, and the top 10 is changing all the time. With clauses focusing on freedom, access, and privacy, this new Magna Carta is a sign that people expect great things from the Internet in the years to come.