Whacky Weekend: Is Internet Access a Human Right?

Ray Soucy rps at maine.edu
Thu Jan 5 17:00:04 UTC 2012

It's an interesting question.

Most think of the Internet in the context of entertainment and productivity.

I would ask that those who do remove themselves from the US (or any
other prosperous nation) and think about Internet access in nations
that are oppressed or depressed.

1. The Internet allows people to communicate (important in
environments where the people are victims of oppression).

2. The Internet allows people to learn (if education is a human right,
it's not a giant leap to say the Internet is how you deliver it).

North Korea, at least, would be a very different nation with universal
Internet access.  I think a lot of smaller nations as well.  There has
never been a greater exporter for American ideals of freedom and
democracy than the Internet.  On the whole I think it has become
something people shouldn't be denied access to.

Is "boradband" a human right?  I don't know the answer to that.   But
some level of access to the Internet (even if it's slow) is something
that would make the world a better place if everyone had access.

As we think about freedom and how our laws affect the Internet (SOPA,
PROTECT IP, etc) this is something we should also keep in mind.

On Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM, Jay Ashworth <jra at baylink.com> wrote:
> Vint Cerf says no: http://j.mp/wwL9Ip
> But I wonder to what degree that's dependent on how much our governments make
> Internet access the most practical/only practical way to interact with them.
> Understand: I'm not saying that FiOS should be a human right.  But as a
> society, America's recognized for decades that you gotta have a telephone,
> and subsidized local/lifeline service to that extent; that sort of subsidy
> applies to cellular phones now as well.
> Thoughts?
> Cheers,
> -- jr 'yes, I know I'm early...' a
> --
> Jay R. Ashworth                  Baylink                       jra at baylink.com
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Ray Soucy

Epic Communications Specialist

Phone: +1 (207) 561-3526

Networkmaine, a Unit of the University of Maine System

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