Internet Creator Tim Berners-Lee Calls Web Access a "Human Right"

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hades_2100

"The difference between somebody who is connected to the Web and is part of the information society, and someone who (is not) is growing bigger and bigger."

 

Can we not say the same thing about "have a university education", or "having a million dollars"? Shouldn't those then also be human rights?

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Eagle70ss

The concept of unalienable rights was alive from the founding of the United States. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

These basic rights(among others) are bestowed by our creator(if you like) and cannot be stripped away by men's law which many times are fickle and arbitrary. If one concedes basic rights are granted by government, then gov't can also un-grant those rights if you will. These essential rights are not contigent on the laws, customs, beliefs of a particular culture/gov't. Government serves at the behest of the governed not the opposite. However, your rights end where someone else's begin. Stay off my Wireless MAN!! 

 

With that being said, your right to watch Lady GaGa vidoes belong in a different class than unalienable human rights. If your ISP goes down, other means of entertainment/communication are readily available. 

 

 Rights were not created during the Civil Rights Movement. Local, State, and Federal Governments were simply suppressing rights that were already god granted. We just had to call them on it. The gov't was incorrectly violating the "all men are created equal" clause which ironically was a legacy of the very men who wrote it. 

 

We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. - Reagan

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szore

Right On Brother!

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MrBlueCheese

I don't get the people who say "but rights cannot be created" crap.

Rights can be created too you know. We used to segregated people based on color in the US. Are you telling me that the whole civil rights movement was just a fluke? That they are no more equal then they were back in when MLK Jr was still alive?

"Human rights are natural rights"

Natural rights are only a part of human rights. What about certain legal rights? What about man made rights?

"Access to the internet is not a right, it is a "wish.""

Uhh, so ISP's can say "hmm, i don't want to allow access to this person today" and cancel your internet connection (but they give you a refund).

" My right to free speech requires only that you not interfere.  It does not require that you pay for a megaphone for me to use in the exercise of my free speech. "

That's the point Tim Berners-Lee is making, that ISP's shouldn't interfere with your right to the internet. However, this right isn't absolute (tell me a right that is?). However, how fast the connection and how good of a connection is up to your wallet. 

" My right to travel freely also does not obligate others to pay for my car, my gas, or an airplane ticket.  I do "wish" that all people have access to the internet (among many other things like a house, a car, vacations, Blizzcon Tickets, etc.,).  But the best way for this to actually happen is not by distorting the idea of rights and trying to make it fit whatever you think it is important that people have."

I think your confusing what a right and a wish is. A wish, is simply just that. A right however is what every human should be entited to. In this case, Tim thinks everyone should be entited to access the internet. I think that's on point with the whole idea of the internet in the first place. The internet should be open, to allow people to freely communicate with each other, without hinderance from ISP's and other regulatory agencies.

 

I think a majority of the people on the site is missing a part of the whole thing. Tim is trying to recapture the lost spirt that was once was the internet, where information was freely shared. Where people can communicate without fearing of government or privitized intrusion. 

I can see the internet being a human right. Sure, it may not be as important as clean drinking water or shelter, but hardly any right is.

I would support that the Internet should be a human right.

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routine

Sorry Timmy, but rights cannot be created... otherwise, they could be taken away.

Furthermore, if access to the internet was a right, then you'd have to force someone to give it to you (therefore, taking a right away from someone else).

 

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dmonkyking

Exactly!  I don't know where people get this idea that the internet is somehow a right.  Human rights are natural rights that no one can grant, but is inherent in everyone.  Food, clothing, shelter are all things that everyone needs, but they are not human rights, only the freedoms to persue them are, because if we define those as rights then that means, as you've said, someone has an obligation to give them to us. and you in turn take away that person's rights.

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opticallog

Access to the internet is not a right, it is a "wish."  True rights exist simultaneously among all people.  The exercise of a right by one person does not diminish the rights held by another, and they impose no obligations on others except those of non-interference.  My right to free speech requires only that you not interfere.  It does not require that you pay for a megaphone for me to use in the exercise of my free speech.  My right to travel freely also does not obligate others to pay for my car, my gas, or an airplane ticket.  I do "wish" that all people have access to the internet (among many other things like a house, a car, vacations, Blizzcon Tickets, etc.,).  But the best way for this to actually happen is not by distorting the idea of rights and trying to make it fit whatever you think it is important that people have.

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Tekzel

I agree with you completely.

I'm often dismayed by what people think about their "rights".  Basically, there are two classes of rights. One, the innate human right, is a right that you have just by virtue of your existence and isn't contingent upon ANYONE ELSE in any way. The other is granted by the society in which you live.

BOTH can be taken away. You have the right to live, as long as you aren't trying to take away someone elses right to live. You have the right to freedom, as long as you aren't deemed a danger to those around you. You have the right to free speech, as long as you don't endanger those around you with it (yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is the classic case example).

In my opinion, Internet access falls in neither category.

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lindethier

This ^^

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TommM

Keith beat me to it.  I thought Al Gore invented the Internet.  :p

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Keith E. Whisman

Um don't you mean Al Gore? I thought Al Gore accepted responsibility for the invention of the internet. I distinctly remember Al Gore making that claim and Al Gore never lies. OMFG I'm being attacked by a manbearpig soneone please help. God what an inconvenient truth!

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