Seeing Internet Access As Basic Human Right

More than three out of four (3/4) among the more than 27,000 adults in 26 countries  across the world believe access to the Internet is a fundamental right. This result of a poll carried out for the BBC suggested strong support globally for access to the web. The findings come as efforts are stepped up across the world to increase net access, with the United Nations leading a push for more people to be given the opportunity to get online. The survey was participated by both users and non-users of the Internet and almost seventy-nine (79%) percent of those questioned said they strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the description of the Internet as a “fundamental right of all people.”

Eighty-seven (87%) percent of Internet users questioned in the poll felt access should be a right, while more than seventy (70%) percent of non-users agreed with this view. Seeing Internet access as basic human right has the highest support in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey. The findings also suggested people in a diverse range of countries felt the web was a vital part of their lives. Three out of four among the Internet users in Japan, Mexico and Russia said they could not cope without it. I say that as a blogger and an advocate of Internet freedom, I belong to the group that could not cope without a connection for even a few hours.

Why do I blog about this survey results? While the news report on the subject did not mention if the Philippines was among the countries surveyed, I am sure that majority of us also see Internet access as a basic human right. The question is, as a basic human right, does our government provide or encourage initiatives toward having Internet access in all parts of country? If so, I am sorry to say that I do not see our government’s effort towards this end. Our legislators do not even see the urgency or at the very least the need to have a line department that would handle the advancement of information and communications technology in the country. The national election is fast approaching and I suggest that we also ask the candidates on their stand on this issue. I further suggest that we vote only for candidates who see Internet access as a basic human right and will work towards having the right get enjoyed by more people.

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