Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now

You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Internet access no longer a luxury: Experts call it a 'basic human right'

The study reveals that free internet access is not a luxury.

Nov 11, 2019, 06.48 PM IST
Getty Images
​Internet access is a moral human right and everyone should have unmonitored and uncensored access to this global medium.
Internet access is a moral human right and everyone should have unmonitored and uncensored access to this global medium.
LONDON: Free internet access should be considered as a basic human right, according to a study which noted that people unable to get online -- particularly in developing countries -- lack meaningful ways to influence the global players shaping their everyday lives.

Researchers from the University of Birmingham in the UK gave the example of Kerala, noting that the Indian state has declared universal internet access a human right and aims to provide it for its 35 million people by this year.

They explained that as political engagement increasingly takes place online, basic freedoms that many take for granted including free expression, freedom of information and freedom of assembly are undermined if some citizens have access to the internet and others do not.

The study, published in the Journal of Applied Philosophy, shows that the internet could be a key way of protecting other basic human rights such as life, liberty, and freedom from torture -- a means of enabling billions of people to lead 'minimally decent lives'.

"Internet access is no luxury, but instead a moral human right and everyone should have unmonitored and uncensored access to this global medium -- provided free of charge for those unable to afford it," Merten Reglitz, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, said in a statement.

Tech Tips For The Internet-Obsessed: Free Cloud Storage, Easy Data Transfer

of 6
Play Slideshow

Tech Treats

20 Jul, 2019
Technology forms a major part of our lives. From the personal to the professional, whether your're streaming content or surfing the Internet for work, tech is omnipresent present in our day-to-day activities. So if you spend a majority of your waking hours on the Internet, bookmark these tips to make life simpler.

"Without such access, many people lack a meaningful way to influence and hold accountable supranational rule-makers and institutions," Reglitz said.

The researchers noted that people without internet acess don't have a say in the making of the rules they must obey and which shape their life chances.

Reglitz added that exercising free speech and obtaining information was now heavily dependent on having internet access.

The researchers said that much of today's political debate took place online and politically relevant information is shared on the internet -- meaning the relative value these freedoms held for people 'offline' had decreased.

The study attributes unprecedented possibilities to the internet for protecting basic human rights to life, liberty and bodily integrity, they said.

While the researchers acknowledged that being online does not guarantee these rights, they cite examples of internet engagement that helped hold governments and institutions to account.

These examples include the 'Arab Spring' which saw new ways of global reporting on government atrocities, the researchers said.

They also gave the example of the #MeToo campaign which helped to 'out' sexual harassment of women by powerful men.
Want stories like this in your inbox? Sign up for the daily ET Panache newsletter.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Also Read

Internet services suspended across Assam till Monday

Suspension of internet services in 10 Assam districts extended

Internet services suspended, paramilitary forces deployed in Tripura

Internet companies prepare to fight the ‘Deepfake’ future

Iran to unblock Internet once ‘abuse’ stops: Govt

Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times Business News App for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.

Popular Categories

Other useful Links

Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service