Should Internet Access Be A Human Right?

by Tracy R. Walsh

Meghan Neal considers the question:

There’s an argument to be made that the right to a certain standard of living is interwoven with connectivity. Amnesty International made that very argument, writing that as the web is increasingly necessary to enjoy freedoms like health, education, employment, the arts, and gender equality, which “means that Information Technologies (yes, the Internet) are inseparable from the rights themselves.” …

Curiously, the strongest argument against connectivity as a human right comes from Vint Cert—curious because he sort of invented the internet. Last year, in the midst of the Arab Spring and social media-enabled revolutions, Cerf wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times that internet access enabled basic human rights but wasn’t itself one.