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From the streets of Tunis to Tahrir Square and beyond, protests around the world last year were built on the Internet and the many devices that interact with it. Though the demonstrations thrived because thousands of people turned out to participate, they could never have happened as they did without the ability that the Internet offers to communicate, organize and publicize everywhere, instantaneously.
It is no surprise, then, that the protests have raised questions about whether Internet access is or should be a civil or human right.
Improving the Internet is just one means, albeit an important one, by which to improve the human condition. It must be done with an appreciation for the civil and human rights that deserve protection — without pretending that access itself is such a right.
I guess if you're in the middle of an uprising and your net connection is cut off you'd see it differently.
For example, at one time if you didn’t have a horse it was hard to make a living. But the important right in that case was the right to make a living, not the right to a horse. Today, if I were granted a right to have a horse, I’m not sure where I would put it.
Notice that in some areas of the US, such as Washington, "near poor" is up to $95,000 family income.
In June, citing the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, a report by the United Nations’ special rapporteur went so far as to declare that the Internet had “become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights.” (...)
But that argument, however well meaning, misses a larger point: technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself.
Surely a 'Human Right', (if one ever does exist - other topic!), is one that affects all humans. So, are those guys living in the middle of the Amazon rainforest suffering because they don't have Internet Access?
In the rest of the world, including western Europe, the very idea of a poor person-- as these folks unequivocally were-- owning private cars was simply unthinkable.
However human rights are worthless if you cut of access to the means to excercise them.
[edited by: Sgt_Kickaxe at 11:32 am (utc) on Jan 6, 2012]
The most amusing thing here is out of the thousands of years of human civilization we've only had the Internet for a couple of decades, and most people didn't even know what it was until the last decade, and suddenly it's like air, we can't live without it, and heaven forbid you get denied access!The USA only stopped being racially segregated a couple of decades ago also, deciding whether something is wrong or right based on how long its been available also seems a little crazy to me.
And incrediBILL justifying anything by saying the military do it is truly bizarre
The USA only stopped being racially segregated a couple of decades ago also
communication is a basic human right
there are no basic human rights.
The world will be a better place when people stop complaining about their rights and start accepting their responsibilities.
there are no basic human rights