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.
It’s time for the US to run the UN outta here! They are nothing but a big, money munching pain in the ass with no respect for any country’s sovereignty. The UN has gotta go.
So babies don’t have a right to life, but we all have a right to the internet. Makes sense to liberals, I guess.
If rights are god-given, then I guess that makes Algore god. /sarc
So they can redistribute wealth to provide it for those who are less fortunate.
What a sick joke the U.N. is.
Did they ever declare fax machines to be a "fundamental human right" ?
Did they ever declare radio to be a "fundamental human right" ?
Did they ever declare the telephone to be a "fundamental human right" ?
Did they ever declare telegraphs to be a "fundamental human right" ?
Did they ever declare newspapers to be a "fundamental human right" ?
If I don't pay my Verizon bill, does that mean that Verizon will be depriving me of my "fundamental human rights"? Which parts of the Internet are "fundamental human rights" ?
Is FTP a "fundamental human right" ?
Is e-mail a "fundamental human right" ?
Is HTTP a "fundamental human right" ?
How about PING?
How about DNS?
There's a dozen others I have forgotten, are they all "fundamental human rights" ?
Okay. So Water is not a basic human right, but the Internet is?
“Federal officials in Canada said last week that the government wanted to ensure the meeting’s outcome reflected the fact that access to water is not formally recognized as a human right in international law.”
Ever since the UN came into existence in 1945, some Americans have been warning us about its potential threat to our national sovereignty. For decades, those individuals have been dismissed and castigated as isolationists, ideologues and right-wing kooks.
But today, there can be no mistake about the UNs true agenda, its plans for American sovereignty in particular and the concept of national sovereignty in general.
Consider the following principles set forth by the Charter for Global Democracy, and/or endorsed by Kofi Annan in his September 2000 report to the UN Millennium Assembly:
Regulation by the UN of all transnational corporations and financial institutions
Independent taxing authority to ensure that the Organization is given the necessary resources to carry out its mandate."
Elimination of veto power and permanent member status of the Security Council (thus eliminating the ability of the US to veto UN action).
Authorization for a standing UN army
UN registration of all arms and the reduction of all national armies.
Compulsory submission of all nations to jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
The requirement that individual and national submit to compliance with all UN "Human Rights" treaties. Among these so-called human rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which the United States is a signatory are the following:
o A requirement for a total welfare-state economy: the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
o UN-mandated control of schools and educational content: elementary education shall be free and compulsory.
I completely reject the idea that human liberty and prosperity can be enhanced by giving the UN or any global government such sweeping power over the nations of the world, including our own. As American citizens, we cannot achieve peace and justice by distancing ourselves even further from the source of government policy making and law enforcement.
Total+BS, they want to have you pay to install it in mud huts all over the world, right beside the slop bucket.
Good, when do they take over my comcast payments.......
Makes sense, don't it?
Exactly. Americans have subsidized that rats’ nest for too long. It’s time for somebody else to do it and give the American taxpayers a break.
Those TV commercials for free mobile phone service say that it is my Constitutional right to have a phone. If it is on TV, it must be true.
More to the point, they want money to provide that “right.” Every UN swindle works down to money - mostly provided by the poor US taxpayer.
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?
The garage doubles as my service entry. Make sure it's properly packed in ice.
Fundamental misunderstanding of what a right is. Rights are inherant and not dependent on the actions of another person.
Free speech is a right, freedom of religion, bearing arms for your own defense, these are rights that the government has no authority to interfere with. It is not a right if another person must be compelled to provide it.
Exactly. A college education, a job, and healthcare are also not rights.