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July 15, 2011 / chronomax

Internet access is not a human right

CNN asked yesterday if access to the internet is a human right in this post, and I have to say that whether or not United Nations says that internet access is a human right, I’m going to stand by my opinion. A human right is an inalienable, deserved, and vital attribute that we have sanctioned to all humans so we can all live the life we want. What are some human rights? Free speech, equal rights, freedom of assembly, life, etc. Most of these are shining through the restraints of an old world, but some still need to be worked on. However, do you want to know something about human rights? It doesn’t include being able to Facebook and Skype people.

Yes, you do have a right to your property. You have a right to it as long as you do not break the law. I don’t think that anyone would argue that if you kill somebody with a gun, you should have a limit on owning guns because you have shown to society that not only are you irresponsible with said property, but you are harming people with it. There is no reason why your ISP should be restricted to servicing everybody.

By saying that everyone should be able to connect to the internet, you are in fact denying the rights of others. If there is a human right to access the internet then it means that every ISP, which are private companies, must service everyone. Government workers should service everyone: policeman, firefighters, etc. You know who shouldn’t? Private parties.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think that the more people on the internet, the better. I think it is one of the most revolutionary inventions in human history. The internet can take down tyrannical countries (like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Serbia, Yemen- yeah you get the point. Seriously, there were days I would wake up and go “Oh, Serbia’s fighting their government because of Twitter- dad, what are we doing today?) and it can change lives. Aside from public/private education, it is the best form of learning that we have. But, that doesn’t make it a human right.

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