The Internet needs to be ‘free and open’ as in politically free where people’s rights and free speech are respected and economically free, as in free market competition. In fact, it is dependent upon these core values.
A permission-less Internet, where individuals can free-ride and aggregate or take other people’s products and intellectual property without permission or payment (where payment is required) can only result in economic and social consequences which will have a knock-on effect on all digital consumers. Disrespecting the rule of law will destroy commerce and remove the incentive for investment which is critical for innovation and economic growth. On the flip side, being a good digital citizen and maintaining a healthy respect for the rule of law will not break the Internet, stifle innovation nor have a chilling effect on free speech. We cannot stand by and watch values being eroded by a few bad actors. The Internet community needs to live within a clear set of rules and we all have to be accountable.
There are some very wealthy and powerful businesses who have monopolized elements of the Internet ecosystem. With such wealth and power should come a greater sense of accountability and responsibility…. and not solely to its shareholders. We need to continually remind them of the ethical role that comes with such power and influence.
Together we can help to promote a safer and more trustworthy digital environment.
Asia Digital Alliance (ADA) advocates for a safe and accessible Internet environment. One that enriches our lives and becomes a window to the world of commerce, learning and understanding.