Internet Access: Human Right or Commodity?

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Dave.

We can’t expect god to do all the work
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Jan 23, 2019
For about two decades, the internet, at its time, was considered a commodity for leisure browsing or access to information. It's redundant to go into details about what you could do with the internet at the time so I'll skip to today's world and how we've become more reliant on the internet for everyday things. People in rural areas don't have access to reliable internet and there are people who can't afford it and are unable to perform tasks the internet allows them to do.

Then we come to the post COVID world; online only school and stay at home work. Which leads me to a thought that I had in the back of my mind; should the internet stay a commodity or should it be a human right? As we progress further an further into a technocratic society (and there's no stopping it at this point, believe me) with new innovations that rely on the internet and internet connections, should humans who cannot afford it should be left to rot or should they be granted access with options to improve speeds? The leftist in me wants to say yes, but I'm curious to hear what your guys' thoughts are on this.
 

Subtle

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Jan 1, 2021
There's been a push for over the last decade to make access to internet a human right. Take the (non-binding) 2016 Summer UN resolution that states "the same rights people have offline must also be protected online". Considering that the number of recommendations for the internet in the Universal Periodic Review is as numerous as those for food and water (both of which are inelienable human rights), the growing interest of UN bodies in guaranteeing access the internet, the internet's links to other rights (e.g. Freedom of Assembly) and the adoption of internet access laws in individual countries (e.g. Estonia), the Right to Internet Access is clearly far more than a mere commodity by now..
 

Un Platano

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This isn't a new problem by any metric. Television, phones, postage, and carrier pigeons all served the same purposes as the internet at some point. The argument that jobs and livelihood requires it doesn't make it a fundamental right of people. (Almost) Every job in the world requires owning clothes, but that doesn't make clothing a fundamental human right as in we must provide every single person with government-supplied clothes to support their livelihood. Additionally we can identify services such as electricity that most people in modern society could not imagine living without. These are all practically mandatory in modern society, but that doesn't mean they should be labelled as human rights. The purpose of identifying fundamental human rights isn't to remove the expectation of any agency from a human necessary to live in a way they deem comfortable, which is what mandated internet service does.

Whether it's right to bar someone from the internet entirely is a different problem regarding freedom of speech. But as far as freedom of speech goes, you don't have an inalienable right to be provided with the internet to express your freedom of speech just as you don't have an inalienable right to be provided with a podium and a large group of people to profess to. Freedom of speech is not a positive right. Freedom of speech means not restricting the right to communicate over any medium in ways that don't violate other's liberties, not that these media have to explicitly be provided by a governing body.
 

18.7%Russian

I Have Never Held Hands with a Woman
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Jan 19, 2021
How tf would being able to use the internet count as a universal human right while people are still starving to death? Also who's going to pay for all the people too broke to afford it? The government? Are they going to become their own ISP? Imagine the censorship that would come into place. What a terrible idea.
 

TheBeanz

Heinz Meanz Beanz
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Apr 9, 2019
Also who's going to pay for all the people too broke to afford it? The government? Are they going to become their own ISP?
Those 2 questions answer the first one. If you want to get everyone online, a nationalised ISP is how you do it.

Telephones in the UK were provided on a subscription service by the post office, then BT until it went private in the 80s, they were cheap enough for basically everyone who had a house to get a phone line and communicate.
 

Cyclonus

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Jan 15, 2020
Everything goes from interesting new novelty-the hip new thing-basic human right, in that order. For most of human history most people never even saw a book, let alone knew how to read one, but these days literacy is a basic skill that is almost impossible to live without. Hell for most of history people didn't even have electricity so access to that can't be a big deal, right?
 

Lemmingwise

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Feb 2, 2019
Also who's going to pay for all the people too broke to afford it? The government? Are they going to become their own ISP?

Imagine the censorship that would come into place

Yeah.. uhh.. I'm having a difficult time imagining what internet censorship might look like, I surely have seen nothing of that by private companies in recent years.
 

Sage In All Fields

ℤ contains every copyrighted work
kiwifarms.net
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Aug 5, 2019
'human rights' are made up and meaningless, but yeah if there's capacity for it dial-up speed networking within the country should be provided to people by the government, not so sure about the internet as a whole though given that'd just end in pornography addiction on an unprecedented scale
 

Jolly Copulation

Keeping his Zwei hand strong.
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Aug 10, 2020
Pffft. No. No one will die if they are deprived of the internet. Might make it harder to apply for any online job, but not impossible.

I don't want to start calling the internet a human right because then we have to give internet to hardcore convicts and pay for it. Do you really want to know what is on the mind of a killer/rapist who spends 24/7 locked up making toilet wine? Hmm, actually, I change my mind. It would be hilarious to read posts from Bubba in secureMAX and that could make decent content for the farms. I'm for Internet in exchange for lulz.
 

The best and greatest

Staring into your soul
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Mar 21, 2019
The internet is a utility and should be treated as such. I dunno about it being a "human right" in much the same way running water isnt really a "Human right" Being human doesn't entitle you to a specific standard of living.

I'd argue being able to freely express yourself on the internet is more of a human right than access to it.
 

Dave.

We can’t expect god to do all the work
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Jan 23, 2019
The internet is a utility and should be treated as such. I dunno about it being a "human right" in much the same way running water isnt really a "Human right" Being human doesn't entitle you to a specific standard of living.

I'd argue being able to freely express yourself on the internet is more of a human right than access to it.
I suppose the better question was luxury or utility.