"A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" is a widely distributed early paper on the applicability (or lack thereof) of government on the rapidly growing Internet. Commissioned for the pioneering Internet project 24 Hours in Cyberspace, it was written by John Perry Barlow, a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and published online on February 8, 1996, from Davos, Switzerland. It was written primarily in response to the passing into law of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in the United States. In 2014, the Department of Records recorded and released audio and video content of Barlow reading the Declaration.
“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.”