Internet access as a human right

Last year I read an interesting BBC article about Internet access as a fundamental human right. I completely agree. The Internet provides access to readily available information, and it should be accessible to people all around the world.

The BBC article stated that almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the Internet is a fundamental right. European countries like Finland, Estonia, France and Spain had already ruled that access is a human right for their citizens, and the United Nations (UN) was also pushing for universal net access.

Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, told BBC News that “the Internet is the most powerful potential source of enlightenment ever created.” In addition, he said that governments must “regard the Internet as basic infrastructure – just like roads, waste and water.”

Fast forward to Spring 2011 and you can see that these opinions have brought about international change: the UN released a special report which proposed that Internet access is a human right, and that disconnecting people from the Internet would be a human rights violation and against international law.

I’m glad to read that people in positions of power have taken steps to make this a reality for all human kind. To me, the freedom to access information is a human right, just like freedom of communication and freedom of speech. [China has a dubious history of blocking Internet sites and content from its citizens.]

My life relies on my ability to communicate with others, and the Internet is one of the main tools I use everyday to communicate, to work and to learn. I can’t imagine my life without Internet access, and I feel that it’s more than just a privilege for some of us.

It should be available to everyone.

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