Submission to the Workshop on Internet Governance
26-27 February 2004
First Law of the Internet
Author: Karl Auerbach, former North American publicly elected Director, ICANN
I would like to suggest that in our inquiry into governance of the internet
that we ought to consider the adoption of certain guiding principles.
Several times over the last few years I have referred to a
formulation that I call "The First Law of the Internet".
I believe that this First Law represents an appropriate balance
between the public and private effects of internet activity.
The First Law of the
shall be free to use the Internet in any way that is privately beneficial
without being publicly detrimental.
The burden of
demonstrating public detriment shall be on those who wish to prevent the
detriment must be of such degree and extent as to justify the suppression of
the private activity.
Updated: 19 Feb 2004 09:50:49 AM