Months after the start of the uprisings that are roiling the Middle Eastern and Arabic world, the United Nations has recognized the essential role the Internet plays in human aspirations, deeming unhampered Internet availability a basic human right.
Unfettered Internet access has been under attack during the protests that make up the Arab Spring, as officials in a number of countries have imposed Internet blackouts to prevent dissidents from communicating with one another. Meanwhile, net neutrality—the concept that Internet use and content must be free of restriction by governments and Internet service providers—remains quietly under threat in the United States. —ARK
From the Los Angeles Times:
Internet access is a human right, according to a United Nations report released on Friday.
“Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states,” said the report from Frank La Rue, a special rapporteur to the United Nations, who wrote the document “on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”
La Rue said in his report that access to the Internet is particularly important during times of political unrest, as demonstrated by the recent “Arab Spring” uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, among other countries.