Internet access a human right?


Guild Member ... 509215.stm

The internet is a tool which contributes to the "progress of humankind as a whole" and should be available to all.
That is the view of Frank La Rue, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Mr La Rue was tasked with writing a report looking into global access to the internet as a medium for freedom of opinion and expression.
In the final document [PDF] presented to the Human Rights Council this week, he concluded that the removal of an individual's internet access should only take place in "few, exceptional and limited circumstances prescribed by human rights law".

The issue of geographical differences is exemplified by the many and varied attempts to crack down on illegal downloading and file sharing.
Mr La Rue's recommendations are at odds with a number of existing and proposed pieces of legislation.

In the report, he singled out the UK's Digital Economy Act which focuses heavily on protection of copyrighted material and includes provisions to take "technical measures" to restrict or even remove internet access from those deemed to be breaking copyright laws.
Mr La Rue condemned such practices, writing in his report that he was "deeply concerned by discussions regarding a centralised 'on/off' control over Internet traffic".
In France, the HADOPI Law - an acronym of the department which enforces it - includes a highly controversial "three strikes" rule.
Firmly pushed forward by French president Nicolas Sarkozy despite strong criticism, the law gives a new government agency permission to contact suspected illegal file-sharers with written warnings.

If those warnings are ignored three times, they are brought before a judge.
In addition to fines, anyone found guilty faces possible suspension of their internet access.

Sounds like a good idea to me, for the most part at least.


Za Warudo
Hmm... I'm not sure it's a "human right." People certainly shouldn't be allowed to refuse others to use it, but it's not a necessity, though in this day and age it is certainly one of the most important tools of communication and information. Perhaps more so than a phone or television, definitely moreso than a newspaper.

But in the same way, the internet is much easier to abuse than a phoneline or tv. You can't really hijack a TV station (not easily anyway, nor in such a way that could harm others via it's use) and phones can be used in scams sure, but they can't spread anything besides information, they can't spread entire documents or credit card details etc.

It's a tricky business to be sure.



Erm, i think everyone will find something on the internet for them..... but as for everyone having a human right to access the internet? well for that to happen then broadband/internet providers will lose out if its made free to access as a human right negates the chances of having to pay for it.

Plus, africa.... need i say anymore? too poor to eat so can't afford enough for a laptop to access the internet. So.... no not a human right, its nice though. With Cloud we are one step closer to having alot of our technology connected to the internet.