We may use public policy and software design to address contemporary issues online today, extend constitutional rights into virtual space, and build a foundation for a digital society. Digital life, liberty, and happiness . . . .
The Virtual State and the Fall of Empires proposes a 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, extending our basic rights into virtual space. And these basic rights may be embedded within the software that we use.
"No person shall be denied digital life, liberty, property, or identity, or be required to give access to personal digital-data and correspondence, without due process, as deemed necessary for the free exercise of speech, religion, assembly, and commerce."
In the design of new technologies, we are not only addressing contemporary issues online today, we are negotiating over the design of a virtual society. It is necessary for us to extend human rights (and liberal-democratic, Enlightenment values) into virtual space, helping to address contemporary issues online and creating a foundation for social and economic interaction in an increasingly digital world.
In a democratic society, it is necessary for us to take responsibility for policy and design decisions we make, and to participate in the process of social negotiation, as we negotiate over how new technologies are used, designed, and understood.