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

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Thread: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

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

    Pursuant to this story:

    BBC News - Finland makes broadband a 'legal right'

    From the story:

    A poll conducted for the BBC World Service earlier this year found that almost four in five people around the world believed that access to the internet is a fundamental right.
    So, is access to the internet a fundamental right?
    Please explain your response.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    No it's not. I would however give tax money to have the government built a very high speed internet skeleton system which companies could then plug into. Since it would be used with tax dollars, true net neutrality. No monitoring of sites, no throttling back and forth the internet speed, none of it. Companies can charge for their services and provide access to the internet, but that's it. But no way no how is it an actual right.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    I believe in cases where government services are accessed primarily online, than an internet connection should be considered a right. Otherwise, it should not be. I am not sure if this is the case in Finland or UK, but I believe they are moving in that direction.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    internet is a technology. How could anyone ever feel entitled, simply because they live, or because they live in the US (or any other country), to a technology? That would be like thinking you entitled to HealthCare, or retirement Pension (SocialSecurity) or unemployment checks simply because you're an American. I mean, yes, we're all paying for these things via taxes and we all 'benefit' if we ever need it. But it just doesn't make sense. These things cost money and it should be up to the individual to decide how they spend their earned money (or don't spend their money) so long as it doesn't directly cost others money. So by entitling this technology, you are again deciding how Americans spend their money "for the good of the people". These are NOT fundamental rights. What is a fundamental right? That I get to decide how I spend the money that I earn.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    internet is a technology. How could anyone ever feel entitled, simply because they live, or because they live in the US (or any other country), to a technology? That would be like thinking you entitled to HealthCare, or retirement Pension (SocialSecurity) or unemployment checks simply because you're an American. I mean, yes, we're all paying for these things via taxes and we all 'benefit' if we ever need it. But it just doesn't make sense. These things cost money and it should be up to the individual to decide how they spend their earned money (or don't spend their money) so long as it doesn't directly cost others money. So by entitling this technology, you are again deciding how Americans spend their money "for the good of the people". These are NOT fundamental rights. What is a fundamental right? That I get to decide how I spend the money that I earn.
    In the past, using your body was sufficient to interact with society and government or if it wasn't it was the best we could do as technology allowed. In the case of the future, this is becoming less and less true and since the body is becoming less sufficient, I think it is appropriate to extend those functions to whatever functional object is sufficient to achieve that purpose. A person should always have the right to interact with their government and if they are unable to because of ill health, the lack of transportation to the local office, no telephone, no internet, whatever, than they are losing something very important and essential to freedom, and in my opinion, it is far more important than some money that would otherwise be taxed.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    In the past, using your body was sufficient to interact with society and government or if it wasn't it was the best we could do as technology allowed. In the case of the future, this is becoming less and less true and since the body is becoming less sufficient, I think it is appropriate to extend those functions to whatever functional object is sufficient to achieve that purpose. A person should always have the right to interact with their government and if they are unable to because of ill health, the lack of transportation to the local office, no telephone, no internet, whatever, than they are losing something very important and essential to freedom, and in my opinion, it is far more important than some money that would otherwise be taxed.
    You raise interesting points. I don't believe that the person should be 'provided' with the ability to communicate via the government. That's not the gov'ts job. The job of the government is simply to make sure that their opportunity to communicate is not taken away. To protect them and their fundamental rights. If they are unable to create a means of communication with the government, that is their own problem, not the government's. The government should never deny any form of communication that someone tries to use. Whether they are in person holding up signs, emailing or mailing. If they put up road blocks, that's a corrupt government.

    But if they don't reach out and send you the stamps, paper and pen (and perhaps, writing classes for the illiterate) so you can mail your letter, they're not doing anything wrong. Likewise with new technologies. They don't provide the means, just the opportunity.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    You raise interesting points. I don't believe that the person should be 'provided' with the ability to communicate via the government. That's not the gov'ts job. The job of the government is simply to make sure that their opportunity to communicate is not taken away. To protect them and their fundamental rights. If they are unable to create a means of communication with the government, that is their own problem, not the government's. The government should never deny any form of communication that someone tries to use. Whether they are in person holding up signs, emailing or mailing. If they put up road blocks, that's a corrupt government.
    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. I see it as a case of a right to a jury by one's peers. Sure, people don't like jury duty and it inhibits their rights in the sense that they probably would rather being doing something else with their time, but the gain is more important than the loss.

    Quote Originally Posted by fredmertz View Post
    But if they don't reach out and send you the stamps, paper and pen (and perhaps, writing classes for the illiterate) so you can mail your letter, they're not doing anything wrong. Likewise with new technologies. They don't provide the means, just the opportunity.
    I think all postal mail to the government that is used in doing business with the government, such as filing taxes or signing up for selective service should be free. But then the USPS is an arm of the government.

    Obviously there is a practical limit, but in the case of selective service, I think you can pretty much get anything you need in a post office. This is a good model.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 07-02-10 at 02:16 PM.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    So, is access to the internet a fundamental right?
    Please explain your response.
    I believe that as technology advances and humanity takes advantage of those technologies, some of those technologies will be so important to living in a modern world that a people and their government can recognize such technologies as a fundamental right.

    If Finland recognizes internet access as a fundamental right for their people, I have no problem with it.

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    Re: Access to the internet - a fundamental right?

    The government should not be involved in providing a basic right to the internet or any form of communication. They should however, protect the rights of it's citizens to gain access to said communication, without encroaching on the over arching rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
    I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on whats being proposed here, hed agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute. - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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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. I see it as a case of a right to a jury by one's peers. Sure, people don't like jury duty and it inhibits their rights in the sense that they probably would rather being doing something else with their time, but the gain is more important than the loss.



    I think all postal mail to the government that is used in doing business with the government, such as filing taxes or signing up for selective service should be free. But then the USPS is an arm of the government.

    Obviously there is a practical limit, but in the case of selective service, I think you can pretty much get anything you need in a post office. This is a good model.
    ah well then, I suppose as per usual, we'll have to agree to disagree. But I understand your points.

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