View Poll Results: is access to the internet a fundamental right?

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Thread: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

  1. #11
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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    Pursuant to this story:

    BBC News - Finland makes broadband a 'legal right'

    From the story:

    So, is access to the internet a fundamental right?
    Please explain your response.
    Eventually it will be, yes. But in the United States, I don't think we're quite there yet, technologically or financially. Finland can pull it off because they're a much smaller country with great infrastructure. The US has 60 times as many people and ****ty infrastructure.

    A few months ago, Obama launched an initiative (I forget the name) to give all Americans access to broadband by 2020. While that seems like a ridiculously long time to me, I'm glad we are at least recognizing universal broadband as a worthy goal.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-02-10 at 02:25 PM.
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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    While there is a distinction between positive rights and negative ones, I think this is a case where the government does need to do something to insure a basic equality in this manner or else people become disenfranchised, which is a huge problem.
    To apply 'disenfranchised' to not having access to the internet is a massively huge stretch, especially given that while you have a right to vote, you are not disenfranchised by not having a ride to the voting booth.

    Why do people continue to think that when they have a right to (x) they are entitled to the means to exercise their right to (x)?

  3. #13
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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Eventually it will be, yes.
    How can something that must be provided to you by others be a 'fundamental right'?
    How can something that you have only because the goverment created a law that gives it to you be a 'fundamental right'?

  4. #14
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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    How can something that must be provided to you by others be a 'fundamental right'?
    Most Finns (as well as many Americans) have a very different concept of rights than you do. No one is talking about it being synonymous with, say, freedom of speech. When Finland refers to it as being a fundamental right, they mean that it's the responsibility of the government to make sure that everyone has access to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman
    How can something that you have only because the goverment created a law that gives it to you be a 'fundamental right'?
    I'm not sure what you're asking. ALL of our rights exist only because the government created a law (or a constitutional amendment) giving them to us. Maybe I could give a better answer if you explained which of our fundamental rights you don't think fall into that category.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-02-10 at 02:47 PM.
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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Eventually it will be, yes. But in the United States, I don't think we're quite there yet, technologically or financially. Finland can pull it off because they're a much smaller country with great infrastructure. The US has 60 times as many people and ****ty infrastructure.

    A few months ago, Obama launched an initiative (I forget the name) to give all Americans access to broadband by 2020. While that seems like a ridiculously long time to me, I'm glad we are at least recognizing universal broadband as a worthy goal.
    I would just like to point out that while I may feel that internet access is a fundamental right, that does not mean I necessarily agree that it is the government's job to provide universal internet access. After all, the U.S. has the right to free speech and free press, but government-provided news and media is nearly anathema in this country. Likewise, while the Constitution stipulates the right to bear arms, we do not have a nationalized firearm industry providing handguns and rifles to Americans.

    So I guess the distinction I'm making is the difference between universal internet access and the opportunity for universal internet access. I'm much more in favor the latter than the former.
    Last edited by samsmart; 07-02-10 at 02:50 PM.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Most Finns (as well as many Americans) have a very different concept of rights than you do. No one is talking about it being synonymous with, say, freedom of speech.
    When you classify something as a fundamental right, that's -exactly- what you are doing.

    I'm not sure what you're asking. ALL of our rights exist only because the government created a law (or a constitutional amendment) giving them to us.
    This is completely incorrect.
    Rghts are not granted by government, privileges are. Nowhere in the constitution or in federal law are you granted the right to free speech, the right to arms, etc.

  7. #17
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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    Why do people continue to think that when they have a right to (x) they are entitled to the means to exercise their right to (x)?
    Because I believe that a theory without real world functionality is useless.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Because I believe that a theory without real world functionality is useless.
    I see.
    You then agree that since I am poor and cannot afford to buy one on my own, the government should force other people to provide to me the means to exercise my right to arms.
    Great! There's this nifty DPMS .260 I've had my eyes on...

    And, since you didnt respond...
    To apply 'disenfranchised' to not having access to the internet is a massively huge stretch, especially given that while you have a right to vote, you are not disenfranchised by not having a ride to the voting booth.
    Last edited by Goobieman; 07-02-10 at 02:59 PM.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    I see.
    You then agree that since I am poor and cannot afford to buy one on my own, the government should force other people to provide to me the means to exercise my right to arms.
    Great! There's this nifty DPMS .260 I've had my eyes on...
    No, because bearing arms could mean picking up a stick off the side of the street and there are very few people who could not find a weapon of some type, such as a crowbar or kitchen knife. The constitution does not specifically talk about guns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    And, since you didnt respond...
    To apply 'disenfranchised' to not having access to the internet is a massively huge stretch, especially given that while you have a right to vote, you are not disenfranchised by not having a ride to the voting booth.
    Well maybe I do, right now you can access government services in most cities through local offices or through some other means. I cannot think of a government agency that communicates solely through the internet.
    However, in terms of voting, it is so important that rides should be offered.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 07-02-10 at 03:09 PM.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    999 times out of 1,000 where someone asks "is this a right" I say no.

    This is one of those 999 times. Along with health care. And a driver's license. And blah blah blah.

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