Internet Access is a Global Human Right

Internet Access is a Global Human Right

Frank La Rue, special rapporteur to the United Nations “on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression”:

“Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states.”

“Such platforms are particularly valuable in countries where there is no independent media, as they enable individuals to share critical views and to find objective information.

Furthermore, producers of traditional media can also use the Internet to greatly expand their audiences at nominal cost. More generally, by enabling individuals to exchange information and ideas instantaneously and inexpensively across national borders, the Internet allows access to information and knowledge that was previously unattainable.

This, in turn, contributes to the discovery of the truth and progress of society as a whole.”

” … the Internet is one of the most powerful instruments of the 21st century for increasing transparency in the conduct of the powerful, access to information, and for facilitating active citizen participation in building democratic societies.

“Indeed, the 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.”

“…¬†legitimate online expression is being criminalized in contravention of States’ international human rights obligations, whether it is through the application of existing criminal laws to online expression, or through the creation of new laws specifically designed to criminalize expression on the Internet.

Such laws are often justified as being necessary to protect individuals’ reputation, national security or to counter terrorism. However, in practice, they are frequently used to censor content that the Government and other powerful entities do not like or agree with.”

More:

Read the full report here.

“UN Declares Internet Access a Human Right. What Does This Really Mean?” Nona Willis Aronowitz, Good

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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