Whacky Weekend: Is Internet Access a Human Right?

Zaid Ali zaid at zaidali.com
Thu Jan 5 12:06:16 CST 2012


On 1/5/12 9:34 AM, "Jon Schipp" <jonschipp at gmail.com> wrote:

>I think there's a fundamental difference between human and civil rights.
>
>Human rights come from our humanity, i.e. us being human. As humans,
>we can walk, talk, produce things, own property, etc.
>
>Assuming that isn't true, the next logical question is where do you
>draw the line?
>Vehicles are beneficial to society, can they be a human right? If you
>keep bringing these type of questions up and substitute any good in
>place of vehicles, you can see how absurd it is. There's no
>consistency.
>
>I think the idea that food, shelter etc. are human rights is absurd.
>Doesn't that imply that someone must provide those things for me? What
>if they don't want to? Does that mean they are forced to? Which would
>be a violation of their human rights.


No, it doesn't mean that someone must provide it for you. It means that
"access" must not be denied. Take for example the homeless situation in
San Francisco, if the city did not provide shelter for the homeless there
would be an outcry our human right violation. If you walk around San
Francisco you still see people sleeping in the streets and this is because
they choose to but they do have the right to go to a shelter so the city
of San Francisco is doing the right thing for basic human right.

In India my observation is that people may be really poor but they do not
go hungry or denied shelter even though they choose to make it out of a
cardboard box. The government makes sure that the lands are protected
which is why the slumps are not bulldozed by a developer. This is a good
example of human right. Electricity, communication mediums are all things
that people get together to bring either as an individual self or a
community.

Zaid





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