A New Digital Manifesto
Our inalienable rights within the digital age
The Right to Communicate
Users and communities have the right to communicate with one another, both publicly and privately. Users have the right to encrypt or hide communications that they wish to be private. No one has the right to preemptively force a user to reveal or broadcast who they are communicating with, or even that they are communicating at all.
Users have the right to publicly publish information and content, even if it is not directed at a specific person or recipient. By extension, users also have the right to access publicly published information and content.
Users have the right to build systems that will allow them to communicate, publicly or privately. Users have the right to teach other people how to communicate, and to distribute software that will aid in communication.
The Right to Filter
Both users and communities have the right to filter and organize the content they consume and host, and to block communications that they do not wish to receive. This can be done either manually or via automated means. No one has the right to force a user to consume content without their permission.
Users and communities have the right to share filters, whether those filters take the form of software, algorithms, or manually curated blocklists and allowlists.
Users have the right to subvert software and platform restrictions that would force them to consume content that they do not wish to see, and to teach other people how to subvert these restrictions. Users have the right to distribute software that circumvents technological restrictions for the purposes of personal content filtering.
The Right to Remember
Users have the right to archive and index information online. Users have the right to share information with others, to share indexes of that information with others, and to tell other people that the information exists.
Users have the right to break or circumvent geoblocks, DRM, and other technological mechanisms that would prevent them from discovering, viewing, and archiving information that they have lawful access to.
The Right to Hide
Users have the right to take measures that hide their identity online and in real-life. Users have the right to form multiple identities, and to choose which identities they want to use to communicate, transact, publish, or consume content. Users have the right to simultaneously exercise their Right to Hide and their other digital rights.
When people or platforms attempt to obtain personal information from a user or to forcibly associate them with a single identity, users have the right to lie and to subvert technologies that would unmask them.
Users have the right to build and distribute software that hides their identity. Users have the right to teach other people how to subvert software and how to lie to organizations and individuals that attempt to deanonymize them.
The Right to Delegate
Users have the right to authorize other users, software, and organizations to perform legal actions online on their behalf. No one has the right to compel a user to only exercise their rights in person, or through manual processes.
Users have the right to build and distribute software that automates a legal action they could take. Users have the right to circumvent and subvert restrictions that would block automated or third-party agents from performing a legal action or accessing legal content on their behalf.
Users have the right to teach other people how to circumvent restrictions on delegation and automation. Users have the right to distribute software that aids in circumventing these restrictions.
The Right to Modify
Users have the right to inspect and modify code and content that is placed on a device or inserted into an environment that they own. Users may exercise this right regardless of whether or not they own the code/content. No one has the right to control what a user does with code/content on their own device.
In addition to inspecting and modifying code, users have the right to tell other people about their discoveries. Users have the right to teach other people how to perform similar inspections and modifications. Users also have the right to distribute software that assists other people in inspecting and modifying local code and content.