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  1. #11
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    NY Times Article: Internet Access Is Not a Human Right by Vinton Cerf



    So in other words... when governments restrict or deny access to the internet, such as in China or Egypt, that's not curtailing civil liberties? Hrm.

    I understand their reasoning. I don't want future generations thinking they're entitled to cars and mp3 players, but something here doesn't sit right with me. I can't put my finger on it yet... I'm hoping the thoughts of others will help me figure it out. Perhaps the hinging point is that "internet access" is intangible unlike a horse or an e-reader.

    /soliciting feedback
    /hears something about France and stops taking it seriousy

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingko
    /hears something about France and stops taking it seriousy
    Funny you should say about France...

    U.N. Report Declares Internet Access a Human Right June 2011

    A United Nations report said Friday that disconnecting people from the internet is a human rights violation and against international law.

    The report railed against France and the United Kingdom, which have passed laws to remove accused copyright scofflaws from the internet. It also protested blocking internet access to quell political unrest (.pdf).

    While blocking and filtering measures deny users access to specific content on the Internet, states have also taken measures to cut off access to the Internet entirely. The Special Rapporteur considers cutting off users from internet access, regardless of the justification provided, including on the grounds of violating intellectual property rights law, to be disproportionate and thus a violation of article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    The report continues:

    The Special Rapporteur calls upon all states to ensure that Internet access is maintained at all times, including during times of political unrest. In particular, the Special Rapporteur urges States to repeal or amend existing intellectual copyright laws which permit users to be disconnected from Internet access, and to refrain from adopting such laws.

    The report, by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, comes the same day an internet-monitoring firm detected that two thirds of Syria’s internet access has abruptly gone dark, in what is likely a government response to unrest in that country.
    It appears the U.N. disagrees with most of you.

    @SuchIrony A lot of employers have made the switch to online-based applications. I worked for Walgreens for almost 13 years, and they stopped taking paper applications of any kind well over 5 years ago. It's entirely internet-based now. However, as a critical caveat, they have an in-store terminal used for employee training that is appropriated for applicants that do not have internet access. Yet, it's also worth noting that they are not some major techie corporation forcing the online switch, they are a corner drugstore chain.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  3. #13
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    Funny you should say about France...

    U.N. Report Declares Internet Access a Human Right June 2011



    It appears the U.N. disagrees with most of you.

    @SuchIrony A lot of employers have made the switch to online-based applications. I worked for Walgreens for almost 13 years, and they stopped taking paper applications of any kind well over 5 years ago. It's entirely internet-based now. However, as a critical caveat, they have an in-store terminal used for employee training that is appropriated for applicants that do not have internet access. Yet, it's also worth noting that they are not some major techie corporation forcing the online switch, they are a corner drugstore chain.
    You realize the U.K. is a country that's already dependent on the internet and would suffer serious ramifications if the internet were to disappear, whereas some countries that don't have the internet/ have limited access would suffer serious ramifications if it was introduced/expanded, right? The unrest in Syria was a ramification of the internet. Syria already had limitations in their access; it's one of the most censored countries in the world. The internet providers there are owned by people who have basically colluded with the government - you'll hardly ever find a seed of criticism aimed at the politics there. Who knows what the internet could be warped into? It could be completely detrimental to the people there from the eyes of a westerner.

    So I have an alternative. Instead of expecting countries who are irreverent of the U.N. to stream in gigabytes to the people they expect to control, people who live under the regimes should be invited here. That would be much easier if the U.S. had a better among its dissidents. That way, those governments' cattle go missing and they crumble.

    But what do I know?

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    You realize the U.K. is a country that's already dependent on the internet and would suffer serious ramifications if the internet were to disappear, whereas some countries that don't have the internet/ have limited access would suffer serious ramifications if it was introduced/expanded, right?

    ...

    Instead of expecting countries who are irreverent of the U.N. to stream in gigabytes to the people they expect to control, people who live under the regimes should be invited here. That would be much easier if the U.S. had a better among its dissidents. That way, those governments' cattle go missing and they crumble.
    I'm surprisingly aware of lots of things.

    ...and good luck with whatever plans you have regarding your alternative, if any.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #15
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Making something a right imposes a burden on someone else to defend you and/or provide for you.

    "There’s no need to try to redefine what “human rights” are. According to Wikipedia, human rights are “commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being.”
    Ridiculous. If that is the case, then very items on the below list qualify. If a right is really inalienable, then there is no need to worry about not having it.

    Right to live, exist
    Right to have a family
    To own property
    Free Speech
    Safety from violence
    Equality of both males and females; women's rights
    Fair trial
    To be innocent until proven guilty
    To be a citizen of a country
    The right to express his or her sexual orientation
    To keep one's own gender identity and rights to have or not to have a surgery
    To vote
    To seek asylum if a country treats you badly
    To think freely
    To believe and practice the religion a person wants
    To peacefully protest (speak against) a government or group
    Health care (medical care)
    Education
    To communicate through a language
    Not be forced into marriage
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  6. #16
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    We spend far too much time asking what is and isn't right.

    How about just saying that the internet is a great utility and humanity benefits more the more people have access to the internet?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    We spend far too much time asking what is and isn't right.

    How about just saying that the internet is a great utility and humanity benefits more the more people have access to the internet?
    Because discourse to determine definitions determines policies which determine global actions.


    --sorry for the consonance... creative writer's habit. Let's just call it a domino effect.
    Last edited by iwakar; 01-06-2012 at 06:05 PM. Reason: apology
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  8. #18
    Senior Member Munchies's Avatar
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    A human right is a right that is made possibile considering the effect of ecconomy and the greater whole of everyone else. A Human right is so subjective that tedius things such as internet make this question seem stupid. Internet is not a human right. If it turns out China can hack us which they can, there is an excuse that calls for the takign away of the internet. Which will happen soon.

    Point is, a right is something someone can grant you, and provide authority to govern that law/right. Right improve as the ecconomy improves and but can easily be taken away with good excuses that call for it.. such as the patriot act and the NDAA bill
    1+1=3 OMFG

  9. #19

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    Times change and access to fundamental human needs also changes. The internet has become one of the backbones of culture and commerce and those who don't have access to it do lose out in big ways. It's the equivalent of having access to newspapers in the 19th century or to television and radio in the early 20th century. Making it a "right" is simply a way of saying that people shouldn't be denied access to the means of participating in culture and commerce. People also tend to confuse "natural rights" with "legal rights." I don't think the UN is claiming that people have a natural right to the internet, only a legal one. But whether "natural rights" even exist remains controversial. Rights in general only seem to exist abstractly in the context of human governments. Now whether people should have a legal right to the internet remains the decision of governments and - hopefully - citizens. It's a moral claim with no real right or wrong answer. But it does seem "wrong" to willingly deny people access to the internet in the 21st century. It seems unfair and unjust to do so, that's how I interpret the internet being a "right."
    Ed Womack
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  10. #20
    Member mikamickmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munchies View Post
    ... a right is something someone can grant you......
    I would have thought that a right is something someone MUST grant you. The internet is becoming that way in some countries. In Australia, the high school curriculum is requiring students to access the internet more and more each year. In school libraries, reference books are making way for computers, as they are in many public libraries. It's getting to the stage where the internet is becoming the ONLY place students can readily undertake the research they need to gain an education. If education is a human right then it follows that the internet is heading that way.
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    I=68%, N=84%, T=68%, P=89% (Comprehensive Report)
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