An anonymous reader writes: The BBC has an article about a recent essay (PDF) from researcher Jacob Haqq-Misra, who argues that any future colonies established on Mars should be independent from nations or corporations on Earth. He suggests that such colonists be entirely disentangled from Earth, to the point of revoking their Earthbound citizenship. Haqq-Misra also thinks we should establish laws on Earth to prevent governments, companies, and individuals from interfering with the politics or economics of Mars. That might be harder to do; clearly, even innocent communications between family members can have an effect, and surely there will be a continuous flow of supplies to help support a colony. Where would we draw the line? It may be hard to secure investments for a Mars colony if it is guaranteed to cut ties with those spending the resources to build it. At the same time, enforcing a relationship seems impossible at interplanetary distances. Still, we're starting to ramp up our Mars exploration plans, and it's a good idea to start debating these issues now.