INTERNET

CITIZENSHIP

[...a citizenship that complements yet does not define the owner, whether it is human or code....]

The Internet transforms us. We become data. 

Made out of pixels and code.

WE ARE ALL CONNECTED BY THE INTERNET, LIKE NEURONS IN A GIANT BRAIN.

STEPHEN HAWKING

"The early citizens of the net (or netizens) took their netizenship serious, and built home-pages about themselves and subjects they were experts in."

"Falling bits"

Anon, Violence Graphique

These pioneers found their brave new world at Geocities, a free web-hosting provider that was modelled after a city and where you could get a free "piece of land" to build your digital home in a certain neighbourhood based on the subject of your homepage [...]

From the moment you’re 

 given a keypad, you start a  trail of your digital 

 identity [...

"We know the citizens of the Internet live in a place where the rules and structures are not set up yet, where a struggle for power is already happening."

Axelle Tessandier

A person’s digital footprint can begin as soon as any piece of content is shared or published about them on the web. It can begin the first time you sign up for an email, a social network account, or the first time you use a browser to explore the web.​ [...]

The Blue Marble

Apollo 17, 1972

Photo by: Petter Garritano

"120504" David Ope,  2012

"Inside a router"

FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7140

“Wired people should know something about wires.”  
- Neal Stephenson

"An Internet"

Jeroen Van Loon, 2016

Photo by: Gert-Jan van Rooij

Today’s internet consists of glass fibre cables that stretch across the ocean floor, connecting continents and thereby creating a worldwide network. These cables ensure that, wherever you are, you will always have access to the same data.

 

Data, whose main value is that they are saved and stored.

"Coaxial telephone cable"

Developed at the Bell laboratories in Baltimore in 1971

The stakes for the future of the web are high.

"How we feel about a technology today greatly determines how we will behave towards a new technology tomorrow. One day the Internet will become outdated and it will be replaced by a new medium. 

New technology is often met with the same shortsighted critique of society’s technophobes and technophiles. In order to understand the new, we need to understand the present." - JVL

"Life needs Internet" Jeroen van Loon, 2014

"journey to digital literacy " Gwendolyne Rottger, 2017

Exploring our relationship to online information and the consequences of interacting with it.

"Bits of Writing" Kirsten Spruit, 2017

Digital data exists on an infinitesimal scale.

Like any language, its physicality is determined by the vessels used for storage or transmission. In order for us to work with it, data must be decoded from binary values of ones and zeros back into the realm of human perception. 

"Wifi Tapestry" Richard Vijgen, 2017

Streams of data transmitted through space appear as visual traces from an invisible dimension that gradually forms and dissolves.

Illustration by

Steve Brodner ​

Internet trolls have a manifesto of sorts, which states they are doing it for the "lulz," or laughs.

What trolls do for the lulz ranges from clever pranks to harassment to violent threats. There's also doxxing--publishing personal data, such as Social Security numbers and bank accounts--and swatting, calling in an emergency to a victim's house so the SWAT team busts in. 

Read full article

Technology wasn't invented by humans. Rather the other way around.

 

 Jean-François Lyotard

"We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before."

John Perry Barlow, 1996

Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace 

Are we facing a scarcity of

 citizenship

"Infinite citizenship"Guidetta Veldrame, 2014

Citizenship, offers access to a variety of resources, such as public welfare and aids; rights, such as voting, safety, mobility; but implies duties as well, such as taxation and conscription; and legacies, as for example a public debt [...]

The Antarctic Treaty, which unites over 50 nations, has decreed Antarctica a continent dedicated to scientific research with common pacific aims: to protect the environment and to encourage international cooperation.


 

Antarctica embodies utopia: a continent whose extreme climate imposes mutual aid and solidarity, freedom of research, of sharing, and collaboration for the good of the planet. It is a place where the immaculate whiteness contains all the wishes of humanity, to spread a message of hope for future generations.

"ANTARCTIC VILLAGE NO BORDERS​"

Studio Orta, 2007

"Antartica World Passport" 

Studio Orta, 2008

“This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship.”

 Sophia 

 

Founded: August 30, 2003
Government Type: Direct Citizen Representation
Head of State: Non-president Robert Jelinek
Territories: Area I (4 provinces): 787.910 m2
                    Area II (Rented/owned in 91 countries): 16.992.810,27 m2
Population since 30.8.2003: 13.900 citizens
Continental ethnic groups [%]: 22% European, 72% African, 3% Asian,
2% North American, 1% Australian
Languages: Global
Diplomatic languages: German, English,
french
National day: August 30
National dish: Soup of Sabotage
Currency: SoS
Anthem: Sabotage (17 versions)
International disputes: USA (2005)

The web ecology runs on quantity.

 

Quantity is what drove the vast data leaks of Julian Assange, Aaron Swartz, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden, leaks so absurdly large they could never be read in their entirety, only parsed, leaks so frighteningly huge they were derided by the mainstream media as “information vandalism,” a critique that mistook the leak’s form for function -- or malfunction -- as if to say the gesture of liberating information is as important as what’s actually being moved [...]

The Universal Unconditional - Stefania Vulpi (2015)
A future where citizenship is flexible, temporary and transferable.

“Today, people move around the world more than ever,” says Vulpi. “Our citizenship defines our status and rights in a foreign country, but it often can bring struggles and limitations in exercising the universal rights we all are entitled to.”

"Universal Unconditionally" 

Stefania Vulpi, 2015

"Flat people" Marie Caye, 2016

"When several Flat People merge, perfect digital humans are created."

Citizen

 

1 - an inhabitant of a city or town; especially : one entitled to the rights and privileges of a freeman
2 a
: a member of a state

   b: a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it She was an American citizen but lived most of her life abroad.
3 - 
a civilian as distinguished from a specialized servant of the state Soldiers were sent to protect the citizens.

Merriam-Webster

"A Men’s Toy"

Dandan Zhang, 2010

A digital citizen refers to a person utilizing information technology (IT) in order to engage in society, politics, and government. Karen Mossberger,  define digital citizens as "those who use the Internet regularly and effectively".

 

 

Citizenship, Digital, Karen Mossberger, Caroline Tolbert, and Ramona McNeal. 2017. "Digital Citizenship". MIT Press. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/digital-citizenship.

 Member of online society connected by the Internet.  ‘Real’ and virtual mesh and create a hybrid characterized by code and data flow. 

"Connections​"

Christian Boltanski

ARE WE HUMAN?

Beatriz Colomina + Mark Wigley, 2016

Exploring the virtual landscape of webpages.

"The Design of Dissent"Mirko Ilic, 2011

Peter Steiner

The New Yorker

Published on July 5, 1993 

"avtavr" Joan Heemskerk + Dirk Paesmans , 2003

Was this poem written by

a human or a ​​

computer?

World map of submarine cables - 2007 

Showcasing submarine fiber-optic telecommunication cables around the world.

 “The Shoes that Broke the Silence,”

Antonio Gonzales Paucar, 2011

jus sanguinis - the principle of blood

jus solis - defines citizens as those born within the country

jus internetis - internet connected

NATIONAL  ANTHEM

Internet Citizenship


Nowadays, it seems that everything has moved to the Internet and/or uploaded to the cloud. Online banking, shopping, and many more aspects of the "physical life" have now turned into a virtual one. In other words, the Internet turned an analog life into a digital one (1). Wireless yet connected. The Internet has transformed the way we live in the world, and us. We have become data- exist ourselves in it. Made out of pixels and code to be translated, uploaded, downloaded and transferred. Our devices allows us access to a global world, interconnected and beyond our physical reality. The physical world is now being seen through a variety of screens and daily life has become a constant change between these different-sized screens. Whether it is a phone, a laptop or a tablet screen - all of them serve as a portal to enter a completely new world: The Internet. Easy to explore, it is all just one click away (2). To the Internet's eyes, we are simply data. Binary streams of information existing only at an infinitesimal scale. In order to work with it, data must be decoded from binary values of ones and zeros back into the realm of human perception. (3) The Internet is in technical terms very real and solid, made up of computers and buildings behind locked doors, cables under the ocean. It is made out of the people and the government that own such property as well so it has a politics and a history as well only until we understand what the Internet is, can we really think about how can we fit into it. (4) We forget this physical aspect of the Internet because it is so much more than that and so we are more we, much more than our physical selves. At the same time, because such machinery is a shell to the content people create for it. Even great platforms depend fully on its users to fill them with content. If a website is published on the Internet but nobody has used or seen it, is it really there? Does it exist? For starters, the web is not monolithic but instead is multiple, diverse, fractured, contradictory, high, and low, all at the same time (5). It is a complex ecosystem of contradicting economies, paid and pirated, offering more than we can digest. On the other hand, we all know the Internet is not perfect but is it possible to name one place that is? Trolling, hate, flame wars, spam, viruses, and stupidity but yet again, that isn't the Internet's fault. Its users have created this complex and contradictory environment in which a bot can serve to help a human being or generate clickbait to never "escape". The Internet is what Stanford professor Sianne Ngai calls “stuplime,” a combination of the stupid and the sublime. On a more utopian note, what if we imagine the Internet as a planet? It is then easy to then relate all top-level domains (6) as countries, a website as a city, a webpage as a neighborhood and an IP address as a home address. Screens then become a sensible prosthetics for our senses and devices are the virtual embassy required. We exist, at the same time and multiply, in many of such places at once, even as slightly different people or non-people (anonymous). We become masters at multitasking, expressing ourselves and identity. ‘In the future, Earth will be borderless – technology is so fluid. It is quite difficult to put technology into borders’ -Neil Harbisson The Internet changed us, there is no doubt about it, and it has just started. It will keep on doing so because every new media requires a new way of thinking. The Internet already provides ordinary citizens with unprecedented powers to access and distribute information (7). No printing press needed. No delivery boys either. Just a screen and followers. And a connection of course. It has also changed our relationship to data and impacted our current, past and future relationships with others. We are now highly connected and interacting with each other in ways that are impossible to consider in the past, and not only because it happens more rapidly. How we communicate adapts and grows with the options the internet allows. The algorithm has found its way not only into our personal lives but into our everyday activities. (8) Our sense of time changed due to the Internet, redshifted our attention span and gave us automated services. Auto-play, the double-edged sword that simplified human activity yet trapped it at the same time. The internet feeds our intellectual cravings via google and Wikipedia, provides us with an infinite amount of cat videos and gifs, it is always there for you. The Internet is changing us, but not necessarily dehumanizing. We are becoming new versions of ourselves, we are becoming Internet Citizens. Until now, citizenships have been based on where we lived but what happens when we are spending on lives online? New cryptocurrencies are surfacing, such as bitcoin but at the end of the day, rather than bitcoin as currency what matters is the amount of views. The power of views provides status on the Internet just as money does on Earth. To be an Internet citizen is to become a part of the online community and vast network called the Internet. To become immaterial and join the cloud. The mesh of the ‘real’ and the virtual that creates a hybrid characterized by code and data flow. This citizenship would not collect, store, monitor, or log any user traffic or content that passes through the network, it would simply serve as an identification. It a citizenship that aims to promote a new version of communities. We serve the servers and aim to improve the code. Every click has a consequence. Every click leads to another. When referring to the Internet, we tend to oversimplify what is an extraordinarily nuanced experience, full of complexity and contradiction it is. Communicating in presents days has shifts into an automatic phase, we have auto-correct and auto-translation that serve as a tool to connect us with others but does this mean we also lose ourselves on the process? The Internet citizenship is not about abandoning other identities, such as allegiances to our countries, ethnicities and political beliefs. It is about being capable of putting them in perspective more easily, and sharing to promote a modern day community. Similar examples of such like Reddit, already exist. These traditional identities give meaning to our lives and will continue to help shape who we are. They can be enriched through others nonetheless. Just as we also are responsible for being members of a worldwide community who share the same global identity that we have. We share the internet with non-humans as well but to the internet we are all the same, simply code. Internet Citizens aim to not see bots as refugees but as a fellow member of the internet community. Rather than setting (fire)walls, let there be more high-speed Wi-Fi. Can an Internet Citizen be compared to a Global Citizen? A “global citizen is someone who identifies as being part of an emerging world community and whose actions contribute to building this community’s values and practices.” (9) How does this relate to certified accounts on social media, the “authentic” accounts for the public figure, celebrity or global brand it may represents. What does it really mean to be a part of an “emerging world community”? Does it have something to do with being an influencer? It is no coincidence that is one of the top paid jobs in the latest years, a job that requires explanation to any non-millennial yet the Internet plays such an important role. The Internet will not be able to genuinely be inclusive to all of its visitors if it does not have a citizenship of its own to offer. A citizenship that includes a set of own terms and conditions and basic rights. A citizenship that complements yet does not define the owner, whether it is human or code. End Notes: 1 - Carr, Nicholas. "The Shallows". 2 - Keen, Andrew. "The Internet is not the answer". 3- Spruit, Kirsten. "Bits of writing". 4 - Bridle, James. "Citizen- Ex". 5- Goldsmith, Kenneth. "Wasting Time on the Internet". 6 - Top-level domain examples: .com / .org / .gov 7- Margolis, Michael. Moreno-Riao, Gerson. "The Prospect of Internet Democracy". 8- MOMA. "The way of the algorithm". 9 - C. Israel, Ronald. "What Does it Mean to be a Global Citizen?"




Basic Rights


I . Every IC has the right to living presence, justice, freedom thought and opinion. II. Every IC has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community and to enjoy the arts and their achievements. III. Every IC has the right to protection of intellectual and material interests that accrue from the creation of works of art, literature and science. IV. IC are all internet users that have applied for internet citizenship of their own free and natural will. V. Citizenship is granted and effected through receipt of the binary ID VI. The SoS passport carries an expiry date. Upon expiry, a new application must be made. VII. IC may relinquish their citizenship at any time. They may as well suspend it withour required deletition for 90 days. VIII. Internet citizenship is unlimited in time.




Terms & Conditions


Please read this End-User License Agreement. By applying for the Internet Citizenship, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. If you do not agree to the terms of this Agreement, do not apply for Internet Citizenship. License Internet Citizenship grants you a revocable, non-exclusive, non-transferable, license to join The Internet community for your personal, non-commercial purposes strictly in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. Restrictions You agree not to, and you will not permit others to: a) license, sell, rent, lease, assign, distribute, transmit, host, outsource, disclose or otherwise commercially exploit the Application or make the Application available to any third party. Modifications to Application Internet Citizenship reserves the right to modify, suspend or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Application or any service to which it connects, with or without notice and without liability to you. Term and Termination This Agreement shall remain in effect until terminated by you or Internet Citizenship Internet Citizenship may, in its sole discretion, at any time and for any or no reason, suspend or terminate this Agreement with or without prior notice. This Agreement will terminate immediately, without prior notice Internet Citizenship, in the event that you fail to comply with any provision of this Agreement. You may also terminate this Agreement by deleting the Application and all copies thereof from your mobile device or from your desktop. Upon termination of this Agreement, you shall cease all use of the Application and delete all copies of the Application from your mobile device or from your desktop. Severability If any provision of this Agreement is held to be unenforceable or invalid, such provision will be changed and interpreted to accomplish the objectives of such provision to the greatest extent possible under applicable law and the remaining provisions will continue in full force and effect. Amendments to this Agreement Internet Citizenship reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace this Agreement at any time. If a revision is material we will provide a notice prior to any new terms taking effect. What constitutes a material change will be determined at our sole discretion.





“The only hope we have is the internet. We must strive to keep it free." 

L Neil Smith

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