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Is the internet a basic human right?

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Adviser Note:  This is Nicole’s final story for the Howler News.  She will graduate from Westside on Sunday, May 28th.  It has been such a pleasure working with Nicole for the past 2 years.  She is so talented and creative.  While she doesn’t talk a lot, she is always thinking and working on a new idea.  Howler News has been a success, due to her dedication and innovation.  Thank you Nicole, best of luck at UofH.  I hope to see you at the restaurant, and I hope to read your work in publication in the future.

SRoberts

Basic human rights consist of things like water, the right to protest, or freedom of religion. Things we tend to not  blink an eye at having in the United States. There is an implicit demand for these things in democratic first world countries, to the point that the idea of life without them is a joke. Now in the beginning of the 21st century the debate over a new right has emerged, net neutrality.

The internet as it stands is essentially an open playing field for users, with providers under the understanding that quality access to the internet for all is implied. Net neutrality has been a heavily debated topic amongst various governments and companies but now more than ever, a free internet is at risk.

Is internet access at such a worth to be pitted against other unalienable rights, spoken of previously? The internet isn’t need to live as a human being but it could be argued that in this day and age access to the internet is essential in order to make it in such a technologically advanced society. Much like the sciences and arts are essential for humans, not to keep oneself alive but to nourish a soul, the internet provides an endless pit of information and content that makes people happy.

Things like the right to freedom of expression, or human essentials for survival like access to water are obvious things protected. As, “Human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty and freedom of expression; and social, cultural and economic rights including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, and the right to work and receive an education.  Human rights are protected and upheld by international and national laws and treaties.” But in our day and age, a new debated right has emerged, and is leaving people of the 21st century unsure on how to control/regulate it.We will have to see in the coming years how such a tricky concept is handled.

Infographic: Majority Considers Internet Access a Human Right | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

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Is the internet a basic human right?