Before the dust could settle from the battle against the Stop Online Piracy Act earlier this year, the people that helped defeat it realized they needed to do more than play whack-a-mole with bad bills from Congress. Since the January 18th SOPA blackout, a group of net advocates, entrepreneurs, and academics have worked behind the scenes to find common ground and leverage an outraged public to promote a free and open internet. Today, they issue a “Declaration of Internet Freedom:” a set of five broadly worded principles intended to protect the internet from interference.

There’s no guarantee that the Declaration’s principles will catch on with the public, but the story of its creation demonstrates the power and passion of a rapidly growing constituency that is now demanding to be heard: the users of the internet.