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Latest News

High-speed human right?

High-speed human right?

Eva Fernandes thinks that the question of internet being a basic human right is irrelevant for people who don’t even have access to a computer.

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March 21, 2011 1:14 by



When Reuters CEO Tom Glocer was at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit this year, one of the comments he made:”I believe internet access is a basic human right” made local headlines.

Though such a statement may be considered controversial, it is hardly a new argument. It has been the subject of debate for years now. In fact, just last year the BBC conducted a world-wide survey GlobeScan for the BBC, in which they asked more than 27,000 adults across 26 countries if they considered access to internet as a basic right. And the results, as you’d imagine were more than positive: 87 percent of respondents felt the internet was a human right which is interesting because even though 71 percent of these people didn’t currently use the internet, they believed they should have access to it.

Of course, the respondents, much like Glocer, were referring to access to the internet in light of governments attempting to prevent citizens from accessing particular information for political reasons. Such an argument is especially relevant with region-wide protests and revolutions being organised and propagated through the internet in the Middle East.

The flip side to such an argument is a question of relativity. While I agree that a citizen should not be denied access to information and communication by a government, this question just seems irrelevant in countries that do not have access to the internet at all.



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1 Comment

  1. MK on March 22, 2011 11:42 am

    Well put…as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! And there are people who do not even have access to safe drinking water and are dying of hunger. Sure, wide access to internet is plausible, but let’s be realistic and tryt to fix a few other major problems first beforing fighting about our online rights!

     

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