Quick question: Is Web access a fundamental right or a privilege? If you think the Internet is a fundamental right, then you're in the clear majority, according to a new global survey conducted for the BBC World Service.
In a poll of 27,000 adults spread out through 26 countries, four out of five respondents described Web access as a right, and that number was even higher in South Korea and China. About 78 percent of respondents said the Internet gave them greater freedom, while half said the Web should never be regulated.
At the same time, some 65 percent of respondents in Japans said they didn't feel safe expressing their opinions online, a sentiment shared by pollsters living in South Korea, France, Germany, and China.
Other areas of concern include fraud, violent and explicit content, and threats to privacy, but none of these diminished the overall feeling.
"Despite worries about privacy and fraud, people around the world see access to the Internet as their fundamental right," said Doug Miller, the chairman of GlobeScan which conducted the survey. "They think the Web is a force for good, and most don't want governments to regulate it."