International Conference on Social Informatics

SocInfo 2014: Social Informatics pp 428-443 | Cite as

Digital Rights and Freedoms: A Framework for Surveying Users and Analyzing Policies

  • Todd Davies
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8851)


Interest has been revived in the creation of a “bill of rights” for Internet users. This paper analyzes users’ rights into ten broad principles, as a basis for assessing what users regard as important and for comparing different multi-issue Internet policy proposals. Stability of the principles is demonstrated in an experimental survey, which also shows that freedoms of users to participate in the design and coding of platforms appear to be viewed as inessential relative to other rights. An analysis of users’ rights frameworks that have emerged over the past twenty years also shows that such proposals tend to leave out freedoms related to software platforms, as opposed to user data or public networks. Evaluating policy frameworks in a comparative analysis based on prior principles may help people to see what is missing and what is important as the future of the Internet continues to be debated.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Todd Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.Symbolic Systems Program and Center for the Study of Language and InformationStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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