Charlie - posted on 08/21/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )
Many Internet advocates, countries, and high courts contend that individuals have a fundamental right to Internet access. Countries such as Finland, Estonia, France, and Greece call Internet access a human right, and the BBC found in a March 2010 survey that 87% of internet users felt internet access should be the "fundamental right of all people".
The European Union seems to have ruled against calling it a fundamental right, though, and many other countries as well as the United Nations have refrained from calling it a right. The debate surrounds a number of questions: Is Internet access really all that fundamentally important, or are we simply exaggerating its importance having lost sight of a world without Internet? Is the Internet comparable to other things that some people call "rights", like the right to expression or the right to an education. Or, should rights be defined more narrowly to include only those things that governments cannot take-away, instead of those things that government must provide? Or, are we referring in this debate to a right to not have Internet cut-off or censored, or are we referring to a positive right of governments to provide universal Internet access?
United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes the right to education and the right to work, which may hinge on Internet access. And, indeed, The European Parliament has ruled that it sees internet access as 'critical for the practical exercise of a wide array of fundamental rights.'"