(OT) UN declares Internet access a "human right"

JC Dill jcdill.lists at gmail.com
Mon Jun 6 05:33:01 UTC 2011

  On 05/06/11 9:59 PM, Andrew D Kirch wrote:
> On 6/5/2011 8:11 PM, Bryan Fields wrote:
>> On 6/5/2011 19:39, Gadi Evron wrote:
>>> The title is misleading, as this is more about "denying" access. But
>>> this is still quite interesting. I don't think this has *any*
>>> operational implications, but every operator to see this was 
>>> immediately
>>> worried. I figure it warrants a discussion.
>> This is the same organization that says there is no basic human right 
>> to keep
>> and bear arms. They have no standing to lecture us about human 
>> rights, as
>> their body largely consists of mass murderers and thieves.
>> Not that I don't agree it's criminal for a tyrant to disconnect their 
>> country
>> from the Internet, but they are tyrants after all.
> The problem is that even stating that denying access to the internet 
> violates human rights allows the UN to begin to get it's claws into 
> regulating the internet.  These guys want it to be a right?  I'm 
> forwarding the UNSG my home DSL bill.  Let him pay it. 

There's a significant difference between Internet "access" and Internet 
"service".  I have access to the roads.  But that doesn't magically get 
me vehicular transportation from place A to place B.  I need to buy a 
bus ticket, or buy a car and gasoline, in order to get service over 
these roads to transport myself from place A to place B.

When the UN says that Internet access is a human right, they aren't 
saying it should be provided for free, but they are saying that it 
should be available (for those who can afford a service fee), and more 
importantly that cutting it off for political purposes should be treated 
as a violation of human rights of freedom of assembly and 
communication.  In the 1700s the US revolution and subsequent state 
formation (the United States of America) was created first by people 
assembling at public halls and private houses.  In 2011, the Arab Spring 
revolutions have taken place by public assemblies that were initially 
organized in internet forums (Facebook, Twitter, private blogs, etc.).  
I do not see anything wrong with the UN position on Internet access.


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