I re-read Cory Doctorow’s short story When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth and it got me thinking. What would it take to declare an Independent Government of Cyberspace?
By my reckoning we could run elections by IP blocks for each top-level from 1.xxx.xxx.xxx to 254.xxx.xxx.xxx. Some aren’t used or reserved of course, so that would give us around 200 elected representatives. We could have a website where folks could put forward their name for nomination over, say, a three week period. The site would pick up their IP address so they could see which IP block they will be representing and they could post their manifesto and link to their website.
From there, voting could take place over a 24 hour period on the same site. Go there and you’ll see who your candidates are. Pick one, your IP address is logged and you’re done. Winner is the one with the most votes for that IP block.
That would get us a load of elected representatives so then they’d need some power and a purpose. The first will come gradually as media attention grows and ISPs and sysadmins act on the rules they lay down. The purpose will come from the representative’s manifestos, though I suspect a declared war on spam will be near the top of the list. Imagine if an Independent Government of Cyberspace passed legislation to turn off all spammer’s routing and net access. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Of course, a few other interested parties might object to a declared Independent Internet, like the US government. But hey, who said it would be simple, eh?
Sure would be fun though……………..