Monday, March 08, 2010

Rights Inflation?

Critics of Human Rights often argue that many supposed rights - like that to paid holidays - are really aspirations, rather than fundamental rights. Well, now it seems that many people regard internet access as a fundamental right.

Admittedly, though, this BBC article isn't the clearest. It seems that the question asked was not 'is internet access a right?' but 'should the internet be a fundamental right?' Moreover, the report states that "Countries such as Finland and Estonia have already ruled that access is a human right for their citizens" - I do think that human rights are fundamentally legal creations rather than moral, because I doubt morality tracks something as arbitrary as species membership, but I'm not sure how a human right can belong only to citizens of certain countries.

Maybe there really is a lot of rights confusion out there...

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At 3:07 pm, Blogger Luc said...

One fundamental problem comes from the lack of distinction between "access to the internet" and "free access to all internet content". Chinese, Lybian and Iranian populations (random examples amongst places I've been to, where there is an obvious internet state control) clearly have a broad access to the web but no access to it's full content.
What about european countries? Free media on the internet have the disadvantage of being paid by others, accessed by users, therefore biaised.
Isn't the right to have access to the Internet basically only a corollary of freedom of speach and access to information?


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