The most basic logical components - the basic protocols and standards for Internet connectivity - have from the beginning of the Internet been open, unowned, and used in common by all Internet users and applications They were developed by computer scientists funded primarily with public money.
|Benkler, 2006, p. 412|
The Logical Layer concerns the means of translating human meaning into forms which can be transmitted, stored or computed by machines, and vice versa. It is also known as the 'code' layer, and is predominantly software-based.
This layer incorporates a broad range of widely differing functionalities, from the technical protocols like TCP/IP that enable virtually any kind of network to connect to and share data with other networks, to applications that run on the Internet, such as the World Wide Web.
The IETF, an organisation with a mission of 'making the Internet work better', developed most of the basic standards for online machine communications. They also display a commitment to making their documents and meeting minutes publicly available online, in order to keep the development of such processes open. These simple protocols that merely served to move data from one place to another and the permission-free culture that developed around them enabled such innovations as email, the Web, instant messaging and file transfer to be built on top. The Internet is therefore far freer and more open at the logical layer than at the physical layer.
Following are ten recommendations for maintaining openness at the Logical Layer, including for computer manufacturers, ISPs and other technology companies, policymakers and legislators and individuals operating at an logical level:
What else could be done to keep the Logical Layer open?