Skip to comments.UN Declares Internet a "Fundamental Human Right"
Posted on 06/04/2011 4:34:05 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan
The Internet is a fundamental human right, a United Nations report released on Friday proclaims -- a statement that resonates all the more in the wake of the recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and the ongoing uprisings and protests in the Middle East and North Africa. The Internet, and sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, played a huge role in helping protesters organize and spread information, and also in spreading the word about what was going on around the world.
Says the UN report on the "promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression":
The Special Rapporteur underscores the unique and transformative nature of the Internet not only to enable individuals to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, but also a range of other human rights, and to promote the progress of society as a whole."
On the very day of the UN's announcement, two-thirds of the Internet access went out in Syria. It's a move that suggests the government's continuing efforts to clamp down months of protests by asserting its authority, often brutally -- and yet Friday also saw some of the biggest protests yet, with 50,000 reportedly marching in the city of Hama.
When Egypt's now-ousted president Hosni Mubarak cut off the Internet, there was international outcry. Mubarak and other former senior officials now face $34 million in fines for the Internet blackout, a harsh reminder to dictators that, if you cut off access, you will have to pay.
Indeed the UN report highlights the recent pro-democracy protests in the Arab world:
[T]he recent wave of demonstrations in countries across the Middle East and North African region has shown the key role that the Internet can play in mobilizing the population to call for justice, equality, accountability and better respect for human rights," the report notes. "As such, facilitating access to the Internet for all individuals, with as little restriction to online content as possible, should be a priority for all States.
The Atlantic points out that some other countries, including Estonia, France and Costa Rica have already passed laws declaring Internet access a fundamental human right. Finland's law even goes so far as to specify broadband speed:
In 2009, Finland, the report notes, "passed a decree ... stating that every Internet connection needs to have a speed of at least one Megabit per second (broadband level)." There, should they need to, people will be able to organize even faster.
On a somewhat lighter note, it's possible the UN's resolution could cause parents a bit of a headache. Just wait till we hear reports of a teenager protesting Mom and Dad for deprivation of his "fundamental human right" because he's been grounded by not being able to use the computer.
TCP/IP is a right. SNA not so much. ;p
Must have a right for a CPU device and the energy to run it first. I guess we will have to pay that for them first and maybe communication skills!
I wonder if this new human right favors *nix, Windows, or Mac?
Remove all American money from this cesspool
I would guess MAC.
More like freedom of speech. Why do you think the Communist Chinese are so afraid of it and agree with you?
Upon being told of the UN action the Tasaday tribe in the Philippines rejoiced at the news. The spokesperson for these gentle primitive cave dwellers speaking through a translator said, "Oh yes, plenty damn good news! Always need good fish nets!"
So, I was denied a fundamental human right until about 1993? I will apply for reparations.
It is a fundamental human right for me to have a fleet of interstellar warships capable of conquering the galaxy.
Therefore, the UN must provide me with that fleet or else face charges of depriving me of my fundamental human rights.
(That, and I need $859 trillion, tax-free, to barely make my ends meet.)
So is freedom from tyrants who feel they have a right to your wallet.
“Trillions” is so ... yesterday. /s
Did Algore give his okay?
Government must be able to reasonably and properly redress a situation where a "right" has been violated. (Most often done by punishing those who violate the rights of another.)
Government must be able to provide reasonable protection for this "right" equally for all. (Equal Opportunity is simple, easy, and proper. The Left's insistence of Equal Outcomes is impossible and foolishly misguided.)
Claiming this "right' must not violate the rights of any others (hence the simplest argument against abortion's "right to choose").
Animals cannot have "rights" because it is beyond impossible to monitor all animals to discern when such violations occur. (However, punishing those humans who mistreat animals is certainly proper.)
Likewise, the internet cannot be a "right" because it cannot be provided to all equally, it is impossible to ensure that every citizen has access, and it is impossible to discern every time someone's "right" has been violated (cable down? hacker attack? modem acting fritzy? Who does Government go after?)
They're simply looking to make it an object for regulation, further under their control, because it is one of the greatest instruments of freedom ever created. (The firearm, the Magna Carta, and the US Constitution being three others on that list.) The UN can go pound sand.
I have to believe that if any governmental bodies attempt to regulate and control the Web to an unsettling degree, there are no shortages of ways around it. Other webs can be created, independent of the current one. There is absolutely no shortage of innovation in this area.
It’s just the UN pretending to be God again.
John, perhaps you could recast this (easy enough to find Euroweenie scandals or Wiener) as the UN declaring pr0n to ba a "basic human right"?
Wow, utterly mind-boggling. If liberals didn’t completely control government schooling it would have ceased to exist as a reasonable philosophy decades ago.
Well, at least one old friend of mine (Eugene Kaspersky) is trying to get an “Internet Driver’s License” adopted, so that only gov licensed users can have access. Declaring it off limits to regulators may soon be very necessary.
It is a favorite theoretical political question to ask libs. If health care is a right, why not water and food? It is possible to go long periods of time without seeing a doctor, but try to go without food and water...you'll die. So food and water should be provided for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, right? Why not?