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Is the Internet a Human Right?

Internet access is part of our daily life. We need it for business, education, research, healthcare, news, entertainment, keeping in touch with friends and family. We need it available for everything everywhere. Life in the 21st century without Internet service cannot be imagined; there is a need for an available, accessible, and affordable Internet in every part of the planet.

On June 3, 2011, the United Nations released a report in which it affirmed “the right of all individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through the Internet.” The news sparked some questions, starting with the old and controversial one of what a human right is and whether access to the Internet should be one.

The United Nations drafted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 when the concept of the Internet was not even a dream. Education is one of those human rights, and it cannot be denied that the Internet plays a vital role in education today.

The recent UN report was prompted by Finland’s pioneering initiative and other European countries that followed. Finland, a country with an estimated 97 percent of its population connected to the Internet, was first to declare broadband Internet access a legal right in 2009, making the proclamation effective on July 1, 2010. Making Net connectivity a fundamental right for every person in the country has put broadband Internet access in Finland on the same level as access to education and healthcare

Finland, one of the most Web-enabled countries in the world, designed the law to bring the Internet to geographically dispersed regions. A quarter of the country that is lying above the Arctic Circle now can also enjoy the benefits of broadband Internet, improving business opportunities and their quality of life.

Other countries have since joined Finland, including France, Estonia, Greece, and Spain, in declaring Internet access a legal (human?) right. The United States is the only industrialized country without a national policy to promote or help expand high-speed broadband Internet access.

How the proliferation of broadband Internet access will affect the electronics supply chain is simple and easy to see. The global and rapid expansion of the Internet is closely linked to the electronics supply chain, which, of course, supplies both the hardware and software used in accessing the Web. Faster Internet access demands more and faster supply of electronic devices able to cope with the speed Internet providers are offering.

That OEMs are responding by improving and accelerating the availability of better devices to access the Internet at home, offices, and on the road is obvious, considering the explosive growth now being seen in the sale of tablet PCs and smartphones.

There is a whole new world of opportunities out there for electronics suppliers, and the United Nations might have significantly expanded their potential market with its latest pronouncement. You may disagree about whether or not the Internet is a human right, but the thought is now out in the marketplace, and many people worldwide will be pushing for greater access than they currently have.

I strongly believe we should support the prompt availability of broadband Internet access around the world. Let's share some thoughts about this. How do you see the future of the Internet as a human right? What benefits could it bring to your region and the world as a whole? Finally, is your company positioned to support the dramatic growth everyone is expecting?

38 comments on “Is the Internet a Human Right?

  1. Nemos
    June 9, 2011

    Since Education is one of those human rights easily we can include the Internet in education.

    The access on the Intenet is not a human right but the access in knowledge using the Intenet it is. .

  2. Hardcore
    June 9, 2011

    Hi Nemos,

    yes I feel the same way as yourself, the internet is not a human right, the same way that Radio and the phone system is not a human right.

    The Data communication systems are just infrastructure and at some time in the future the internet will either evolve or be replaced with something else(every other communication technology has also been through this process,the way that horse delivery riders were replaced by mail, which in turn was replaced by the telegraph system & telephone, etc)

    All these systems were merely infrastructure used to transfer data, exactly the same role the internet provides today.

    Even if we look at the internet from an 'educational' point of view, it is still not being fully utilized and this is despite all the enabling technology, I cannot for example take a walk in the countryside, find something interesting , then join an educational class to give instruction on/about what I have found (a sort of personalized tuition system).

    Before we make any sort of headway on this, there needs to be something along the lines of ' open Source' teaching materials, where complete courses of VALIDATED tuition are available for free and being continually improved  the same way that open source code is being produced, currently teaching methodology is a complete mess and usually provided by systems that have seen little improvement for several hundred years.

    Viable and validated teaching/learning needs to be available 24*7  in a format that can be delivered on site or in the field, and yet tailored for each individual whilst remaining within a formal framework. It is well within the realms of possibility but it requires a concerted effort to pull it all together.

    For example Instead of abusing people's privacy with 'facial recognition', provide such a system for insect/flower or biological sample recognition, but I would guess that it is not possible to make money from a project for the common good of man rather than the abuse of minors.

     

    HC

  3. DataCrunch
    June 9, 2011

    Hi Susan, is Internet access in Finland included in people's taxes, like education and healthcare, or is it an additional cost? 

  4. itguyphil
    June 9, 2011

    That sounds like a slippery argument. We all know that 'education' is a broad term. I can learn about alot of stuff online that is not deemed sutiable by traditional learning establishments. But I do see your point, especially since most institutions and even libraries have Internet access as their crux to the outside world (we all know no one uses encyclopeidas anymore…).

  5. prabhakar_deosthali
    June 10, 2011

    There is no doubt that in the last decade or so the Internet has become the essential part of our lives. But I would not like to make it a Human right. Human right has to be something more basic and more generic like Food, Shelter,  & Education. Instead of adding Internet as a human right, I would recommend the Communication as a more generic human right. In this century the communication has assumed a greater importance as we all on this planet need to be able to communicate to each other. This communication does not necessarily mean the Internet, but it can be many differnet ways – physical communication ( by transport infrastructure ) , Audio communication ( through the telecom infrastructure) and lastly the digital voice,data and video communication ( through internet or other such digital infrastucture).

  6. Susan Fourtané
    June 10, 2011

    Nemos, 

    That is the kind of thinking and association we have to have in order to understad how come the Internet can become a human/legal right. 

    It's not the Internet as the Internet per-se that is in question at the time of considering as a human right. It is what it has become. It is what it represents. It is the kind of tool and how many previous human rights it serves, education being a fundamental one. 

    -Susan 

     

  7. Wale Bakare
    June 10, 2011

    Thank you for the article. Am opininon that internet is transforming people's lifestyle – creating loads of opportunities; jobs, social networking and etc.

    Finland ranked most knowledge economy in the world alongside Japan. Infact technology contribution to the country economy cannot be under-estimated. For instance Nokia is contributing 1/3 to the country's GPD and i presumed due to huge technology contribution to the nation has lead to broadband be legislated for every home.

    If all other countries of the world should adopt or follow similar step am opininon that benefits will far outweigh its unforsee problems.

     

  8. Daniel
    June 10, 2011

    Internet becomes a part of our day to day life. Now a day’s everybody is depending internet for all purposes including searching info, maps, knowledge basis etc. That doesn’t mean that right for Internet?. We cannot compare Internet rights with right to live or right food.  Internet have both advantages and drawbacks, recently we had read the suspension of 13 year school girl for making bad comment about her class teacher through face book. If the kid is tell in such a way that it’s her right and then what’s the world will go to some other extend.

  9. Susan Fourtané
    June 10, 2011

    prabhakar_deosthali

    We need the Internet to be able to do basic things, things that we used to do in a different way years ago. Our lifestyle has changed and we have o be able to adapt to the changes. This includes seeing the Internet as a fundametal tool very much needed to help us in other fundamental rights, like the aquisition of knowledge through education (“the right to education”), 

    The Internet has also affected commuting as we knew it. Now many companies choose to have most of their employees working remotely from their homes -telecommuting. This means the Internet is fundametal for many people's jobs, becoming essential as part of “the right to work” for many. 

    Let's take a case of a physically disabled person. His mind works fine, he is capable of performing well in a job that requires his mental ability but unfortunately he can't go to a physical work place. He has the right o work, though. He can work from his home with laptop and Internet connection, he receives his payment into his bank account (that he checks and manages using Internet banking) and has a better quality of life feeling and being useful to the society. 

    He can do that because he has the right to Internet access, even living in a rural area. 

    We need to see the trees behind the forest. 🙂 

    -Susan

  10. jbond
    June 10, 2011

    @Hardcore,

    I think you are spot on with your examples. The internet is merely a tool for delivery of goods, not a human right. My other question would be who's going to pay for all of this? It's easy to compare the U.S. to some European countries. Yet everybody seems to forget that the U.S. is bigger than all of Europe combined. We have vast rural areas where people live, many without internet, and survive just fine. Who is going to pay for the infrastructure to set up a broadband network throughout the continental U.S.? And if we come up with a way to give everybody access, who's going to pay for their hardware to get on the internet if they can't afford it?

    Our tax dollars fund schools so that nobody is left out of getting an education. We have school systems, local and state governments who are all having budget problems. Yet the schools still have to be funded because everybody has a right to education and a better life. How are we going to pay to ensure everybody has access to the internet? A “human right”, hardly. More focus should be on the main elements of food, shelter and education.

     

  11. Susan Fourtané
    June 10, 2011

    Hi, Dave 

    Not to my knowledge. It's more about making it available everywhere and very accessible in a way that everyone can access to it and have a decent speed in every household. It's free in all the public places, though.  

    Finland is aiming to 100MB per second for all by 2015. My Internet speed at the moment is 40M and I also have a USB Internet access (2M, planning to change to 5M) that I use to work with my netbook when I am not at home or where there is no free WiFi in a public place -but this is also rare. You find free WiFi in public places and everywhere in the city center, trains, etc. 

    Laura Vikkonen, the legislative counselor for the Ministry of Transport and Communications said about broadband Internet access: “We think the it's something you cannot live without in modern society. Like banking services or water or electricity, you need Internet connection.”

    The fact that is has been put in the lines as education and healthcare is because, at least in Finland, education and healthcare do need the Internet to exist today. The use of EMR (Electronic Medical Records) by public and private healthcare is almost 100 percent at the moment in the whole country. Without Internet this wouldn't be possible. 

    The same with banking. No one will stop you if you want to use cash or go to a physical bank but most of the people use ebanking and most of the transactions are electronic. There are already talks about cash disappearing. 

    To be able to see why broadband Internet access is a right in Finland we need to consider the way all the basic things work in the country and how they depend on the Internet. The Internet is a basic need in Finland. 

    All this may not be happening everywhere in the world,  you may argue. I say this is the model and the future of things to happen thanks to the use and access to the Internet. 

    Unfortunately the world tends to look too little at the small countries in the north. There is a lot to learn about and from them, though. 

    -Susan

     

     


  12. eemom
    June 10, 2011

    The chart shows that most believe that access to the Internet is a fundamental right.  I do agree with that wording.  “Human right” makes it a little more difficult to justify.  Although, if you look at the part the Internet played in the uprising in the middle east, that is easy justification.  The Internet helps connect people and eases the means of communication.  You can argue that the Internet can be a tool for the attainment of human rights.  Also, there are a lot of on-line courses, schools use the Internet to communicate grades of children in school, on and on.  Perhaps more important than the definition of the Internet, is the importance of making sure one and all have access.  If some countries have to designate it a human right to make sure that all its citizens have access, then I support it.

  13. tioluwa
    June 10, 2011

    The internet access as an human right? i support whole heartedly. It really doesn't change much as far as i'm concerned. Education is one of the fundamental human rights but millions in developing countries have no access to it. Some don't even have shelter, not to mention education, so internet access has no meaning to them.

    HOwever, if it is stated as an human right, as education is, as countries that are underdeveloped begin to develop, they have a good sense of what they must provide as basic for their citizens.

    for developed economies, it forces toe government to take conscious efforts to provide it, giving more people access.

  14. Parser
    June 10, 2011

    Basic human rights: health, education, security and liberty. Most countries have implemented wide number of human rights into law to protect their citizens.

    In the US any human rights are considered social rights and they don’t make same progress in law. If majority does not want any medical protection for our citizens we will not have any internet rights for sure, even if it would be part of education and communication.  

     

  15. FLYINGSCOT
    June 10, 2011

    Scandinavian countries are so cold and miserable for many months of the year I can understand why some of these countries need to declare the internet as a basic human right.  How else could they entertain themselves and prevent madness during the long hard winters.  Now if I had the choice of the basic human right to walk on a beach in the warm evening sun or the right to surf the internet, I know which one I would choose.   I personally believe human rights are basic rights we need to live a decent life.  I am not so sure the internet is in that class as I could cite some examples of its detrimental effects on today's society.   Now I will apologize unreservedly to anyone I have offended by this light hearted post.

  16. Susan Fourtané
    June 10, 2011

    HC, 

    Are you involved in teaching in any way? I really appreciate your comment and all what you want to see in teaching/learning. 

    The good news is that many of those things you mention you can already find if you search for them. Education in virtual environments is an example of how education in virtual worlds and online education (they are, of course, two different things) have made possible for students and teachers around the world to be able to visit and explore museums, archaelogical sites, the deep sea and all what you can imagine virtually.

    Now tell me that Internet access is not a basic need in education. I have researched these things and all what I am saying is happening as we speak. 

    I have a couple of links that I can pass on to you about plant/flower recognition -if I am undertsanding what is what you want. If not, tell me more about the insect/flower sample recognition and I might have something for you.

    -Susan

    (I'll get back to you) 

     

     

  17. KHC
    June 10, 2011

    And you're from Scotland? I think this is a case of the Haggis calling the Lutefisk revolting.

  18. DataCrunch
    June 10, 2011

    KC, that was actually pretty funny.  It's good to have a laugh before the weekend.

  19. Susan Fourtané
    June 10, 2011

    pocharle, 

    Also, as ebooks and online libraries are becoming more common and eReaders and tablets are found at lower prices there is a need for Internet access for basic reading. When will people understand this? 

    -Susan 

  20. Susan Fourtané
    June 11, 2011

    Thanks, Wale. 

    Yes, that's right. I would love to see other nations follow the example of a country that has reached this level of technological advancement making it possible for citizens to enjoy a good quality of life. 

    Whenever people ask me “who is going to pay for the infrastructure” I immediately think that the money that some countries waste in wars could be used in building the infrastructure and more. 

    The Iraq and Afghanistan wars (not counting Libya) cost the U.S. $14 billion a month. That is $466 million a day, or almost $20 million an hour. Wouldn't you agree that if a government has that amount of money to spend in weapons, killing people and inducing nations to hate and revange it would do much better using the money to build infrastructure to make Internet access available to every corner in the country?

    I understand when a gvernment doesn't have the means to give more to the citizens, but in my book if a country spend such amount of money in wars there is no valid excuse for not improving education, healthcare and anything that would help the wellbeing of the citizens. 

    -Susan

     

  21. Susan Fourtané
    June 11, 2011

    KCramer, 

    That is a very funny idea, indeed. 😀 I love it. 

    -Susan 

  22. Susan Fourtané
    June 11, 2011

    jbond,

    “Who is going to pay for the infrastructure?”

    How about the government?

    The Iraq and Afghanistan wars (not counting Libya) cost the U.S. $14 billion a month. That is $466 million a day, or almost $20 million an hour.

    Wouldn't you agree that if a government has that amount of money to spend in weapons, killing people and inducing nations to hate and revange it would do much better using the money to build infrastructure to make Internet access available in every corner in the country?


    “Yet the schools still have to be funded because everybody has a right to education and a better life.”

    Today we can't say that elementary education is enough to get a competitive job and build a future with a good quality of life. People need to have access to free higher education (just like in Finland), that is giving people the right to education. 

     

    “And if we come up with a way to give everybody access, who's going to pay for their hardware to get on the internet if they can't afford it?”

    You can find really cheap netbooks in the market, you can find second hand computers everywhere, there are people giving their old computers away for free, you can find what you need if you want to find it. Hardware is not as expensive as it used to be. Have you checked prices lately? 

    Some schools are giving eReaders to all the students. Of course they need Internet access. Do you think the students who live in rural areas without Internet access are happy surviving knowing they are way behind in chances of getting a good job in the future because they won't have the education and knowledge needed? 

     

    “How are we going to pay to ensure everybody has access to the internet? A “human right”, hardly. More focus should be on the main elements of food, shelter and education.”

    Well, here I agree that the U.S. first should find a way to give people more basic human rights like food, shelter, education and healthcare. Sad but true, the basic rights are not covered in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. can't afford giving the right to Internnet access to its people. 

    Some European countries are just some steps ahead. It's good and inspirational to know about them. Maybe some other big nations stop and think for a moment and decide to work in fulfilling more basic human rights, like the aforementioned, before moving on to populate the space with space stations and build a colony in Mars scheduled to be due by 2030 by NASA. 

    -Susan

     

  23. Susan Fourtané
    June 11, 2011

    Dave, 

    “Hi Susan, is Internet access in Finland included in people's taxes, like education and healthcare, or is it an additional cost?”

    The point of making broadband Internet access a legal right was to build the infrastructure necessary to make it available even above the Arctic Circle and to make it very accessible so anyone can easily pay for it for a very little monthly payment. 

    You can get broadband Internet access for as little as 9.90 EUR = 14 USD = 8,75 GBP. That is less than a ticket to a movie theater and less than two drinks in a pub. And it's going to get even cheaper. 

    -Susan 

  24. Hardcore
    June 11, 2011

    Hi Susan,

    In my distant past, I had looked at teaching as a career, no so much as 'Educate the kiddies'  side of it but I saw massive potential for doing things differently.

    However fortune often dictates other routes for us to follow (I ended up as an engineer), not to mention the endless & mostly irrelevant paperwork required.

    I see a lot of irony in current teaching methodology,  certainly on the University side, where the whole goal of a University is to promote research and sharing of materials, and yet the teaching materials are 'closed off' and distributed under a strict NDA/Copyright system.

    I would really like to see some sort of open material, along the lines of how Linux was developed, the universities could still charge for the 1:1 interactions and supervision of the dissertations/thesis/exams.

    It is somewhat Ironic that to get a 'proper' education you have to be rich or at least richer than much of general population, certainly in the U.K that has taken a turn for the worst with the massive hiking of University fees, even for online courses.

    And yes I see your point about online materials or virtual environments, but it is just not radical or far reaching enough, specifically because there is very little interaction or “get your ass outside and learn something”, I get the feeling that it does not instill one of the key requirements into the students, and that would be “promoting inquisitive minds”

    The Insect/flower side of it was just something I had my mind on, specifically related to automatic Identification of materials for student field biology (I had a bee in my bonnet about the way Facebook wastes the technology on privacy abuses).

    HC

     

  25. Susan Fourtané
    June 11, 2011

    TIOLUWA, 

    “Some don't even have shelter, not to mention education, so internet access has no meaning to them.”

    I don't agree with that.

    There are many people in the world with no shelter, no education but very smart and with an inspirational wish and will of learning to make their lives better. 

    There is a young man in Malawi, Africa, (I don't remember his name, unfortunately) who wanted to study but couldn't afford 80 USD to pay for his studies. This didn't stop him. 

    He spent four years in the library studying, doing research to develop a windmill. And he did it. After four years of R&D American journalists went to interview him. They took him to the U.S. When he was asked if he didn't know about Google he asked “what kind of animal is a google?”. They gave him a computer with Internet connection. Doing a simple Google search he found everything what took him four years of his life in the library to research, just a click away. 

    Don't you think that man in Malawi would have been very grateful to have a computer and Internet access? Don't you think Internet access would have had a very important meaning in his life, saving him four years of hard work? 

    There is a Chinese proverb that says: Give a man a fish and he will eat for one day. Teach him to fish and he will eat for his whole life. 

    -Susan


  26. SunitaT
    June 11, 2011

    What benefits could it bring to your region and the world as a whole?

    Internet is the most powerful instrument to influence the opinion of people. We have see how Internet played pivotal role in Arab uprising. Moreover Internet can play major role in education, clean governance and as a major communication tool.

  27. Parser
    June 11, 2011

    @FLYINGSCOT

    Scandinavian countries lived and prospered in dark and cold for about 1000 years. Internet is here since 1980. They have proven to live without it. 

    What would be a right to decent life? Decent life has many aspects from eduction, health and living standard. Parts of education are computers and portion of health is medical knowledge and one of the elements of living standards is ability to communicate. If we look deeper into the meaning of decent life we can see that almost each aspect of it contains access to computers and internet.  

    I would not go that far and put internet as human rights, because simply the future may bring a better way to communicate than it is known now as internet. 

  28. Shulamith
    June 11, 2011

    I have a question rather thena comment.

    MY question is: how do realize our human rights assisted by another and new human rights called the Internet?

    PDHRE, People’s Movement for Human Right  Learning  is facilitating the learning of human rights as a way of life worldwide. .. We are developing with local inhabitants of various cities around the world Human Rights Cities including national the creation of Corps  that will each out to every women , men, men youth and child for them to know and own  human rights as relevant to their  daily lives ..–move charity to dignity for all to belong in dignity  in community with others.

    Myself being  an older person i can only rely on my intuition  and some experience to say that if we know in depth of  how to use the internet  recognizing  it  as a  basic human rights for access, outreach learning and most important dialogue , in 10 to 15 years all people of the world will choose to be guided  by the holistic human rights framework towards meaningful economic and social transformation.

    Thus saying the it is  a human rights is very exciting as it a directly derived practically and metaphorically from the human rights to food education, housing , health and work at livable wages…–not to speak of  being: a tool as well as a delivery system , and often as a guide that we should all enjoy and have access to human rights as a way of life. .

    We need more young people who own this human right to  think with us of how to have seven billion people  join in a dialogue about the relevance of huamn rights to their lives.

    Shulamith Koenig – Founding President, People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning. http://www.pdhre.org

  29. Anna Young
    June 12, 2011

    Susan, I like this article. It’s obviously got everyone thinking. However, I agree with you that internet has enlightened individuals all over the world. It has equally enhanced and impacted businesses, education, healthcare industry and so on.

    Like you said, broadband internet access will further enhance and impact the global and rapid expansion of electronics supply chain.

    I understand why this may have been legalized in Finland and applaud other countries that have eversince joined

    However, to go as far as declaring the internet access a legal human right, is going too far in my view.

    I do agree that “human rights” are rights and freedom to which all humans are entitled, but I believe that types or form of communication should be determined by an individual – computer is a mode of communication just as much as a telephone. Should other forms of communication be legalized as well? Think about the cost, particularly in the developing countries.

     

  30. Clairvoyant
    June 12, 2011

    I agree that perhaps saying the internet is a human right is going too far. However this is a great topic to be further discussed. In my opinion I think it would be very beneficial for people in developing countries to have access to the wealth of information on the internet. In countries that have vast access to the internet, it is very easy to look up information and share information between one another, meanwhile in developing countries they do not have easy access to this information that could be very beneficial to them for improving and advancing their lives.

  31. Ariella
    June 12, 2011

    Good point, Anna. Any proposal has to include a consideration of feasibility that would include an assessment of the cost/benefit ratio. I wonder about the extent to which each individual is supposed to be granted access. Anyone can access the internet for free at public libraries; many schools also grant internet access to their students. There already are programs in place to provide money for technology in schools, but they do not extend to computer for every single student

    .But would one have to go so far as to make Wi-Fi available to each home? In that case, each household, and possibly each individual, would have to be given a computer or at least a device if they have not or could not afford to buy one for themselves. T

    It's not something that can simply be dismissed by saying the government will foot the bill. Saying that is tantamount to saying we will all foot the bill in the form of higher taxes because that is where the government gets its money from. And, I can assure you that a very good number of tax payers are far from rich and struggling already to cover daily living expenses. Adding on another tax burden during these difficult economic times when gas and food prices have already skyrocketed is not doing most people a favor.

    Currently, the US government is very seriously in debt and the bonds are no longer considered the rock-solid investment they used to be. So adding to the debt would prove detrimental to both the citizens and the bond holders. In any case, it would raise questions about which government. If this is tied to schools, then the expenses would be considered local, the jurisdiction of the cities and towns — not even the states, never mind the federal government.

  32. FLYINGSCOT
    June 13, 2011

    You make vary good points.  I suppose the term “human right” would depend upon the human one is talking to.  I imagine if I asked my very elderly friend whether they would rather have access to TV or the Internet (as a basic right), they would say TV.  Yet the opposite might be true if I were to ask a 15 year old kid.   In my humble view “human rights” would be the common set that the majority of people agreed were human rights.

  33. tioluwa
    June 13, 2011

    SUSAN,

    I agree with, determination can beat anything.

    However, i was more concerned about the government. A government that has not provided the basics for its citizens need not focus on providing internet access until food and shelter (even for those who still have the strenght to go on without it) have been provided.

     

    I agree that some can still defy odds, but its not everyone.

  34. Susan Fourtané
    June 19, 2011

    tirlapur, 

    For all those reasons then we can say it's an important step that the UN is pushing to make the Internet available to everyone.

    -Susan

  35. Susan Fourtané
    June 19, 2011

    Parser, 

    “I would not go that far and put internet as human rights, because simply the future may bring a better way to communicate than it is known now as internet.” 

    That's a different story. We can't sit and wait until something else comes to replace the Internet. It's like the typical case of not buying an iPhone because another iPhone is coming out soon resulting in never buying an iPhone.

    With that criteria we all should just sit and wait and nothing will ever happen. See the point? We need to live in the present moment with all what the present moment is giving us and make the most of it. 

    The future will bring different and new ways of communication than the ones we know and have today. We then will use those ways of communication in the future. Meanwhile, think of here and now. 

    -Susan

  36. Susan Fourtané
    June 19, 2011

    Hi, Shulamith

    Welcome to EBN Online. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and for posting this question: 

    “MY question is: how do realize our human rights assisted by another and new human rights called the Internet?”

    Thinking about it and seeing how all the human rights are closely connected and assisted by the Internet in more than one way. Opening our mind to make it wider and be able to understand what we don't seem to understand at first sight or after just one moment of thinking about it.

    Today more than ever the human rights are being assisted by the Internet. I believe I have said this before in this discussion. The Internet is assisting education, healhcare, the law that protects our rights. The Internet has helped nations that were victims of natural disasters in bringing quick help, food, medicine, medical assistance and communication with family as never before.

    There is a great potential waiting. As many more global citizens are being helped to be connected to the Internet more benefits humanity will see.

    And yes, there is cybercrime, too, as there is crime in everyday life. That is only an excuse for being blind to the good things the Internet brings.  

    And yes, people need to learn more about human rights and the new tools available assisting them. 

    Thanks for your work and dedication pro a better world. It's highly appreciated.

    Kind Regards,

    -Susan — susan.fourtane@gmail.com 

     

  37. Susan Fourtané
    June 19, 2011

    Thanks, Anna. 

    “However, I agree with you that internet has enlightened individuals all over the world. It has equally enhanced and impacted businesses, education, healthcare industry and so on.”

    Try to think how to do business today without Internet access. Or how to access the many free online eduational resources or contact your school, university. How could the healthcare professionals check EMRs (Electronic Medical Records) and prescribe electronically without Internet access as they do today in an expanding eHealth system? What about quick money transfers through eBanking to countries that have been victims of natural disasters? That means quick food and medicine supplies as well. And so on. 

    The reason why Internet access has become a human right is because it assists the other human rights. Therefore, the Internet is necessary for the other rights to be carried on in today's world. 

    The Internet is not just a means of communication anymore. It's beyond that. You say: computer is a mode of communication just as much as a telephone.” I am not discussing a piece of hardward but the Internet. I say a  computer without Internet access is useless today.

    I see no point in comparing the Internet with the telephone. They are complete different stories for what I try to say.

    Could you do all your business, studies and healthcare issues using only your phone and at a very low cost? Most likely not. 

    -Susan 

  38. mario8a
    June 22, 2011

     

    on favor:  Simply smarter communications — that's the way to succed

    against: before internet, Health should be as accesible for everybody.

     

     

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