Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

Google, Apple, and Amazon violated Parler’s human rights

It’s not that long ago that we were being told the access to the Internet is a human right. Apparently that concept goes right out the window if you have the wrong thoughts. Mind you, it has been mostly those on the left that introduced the concept of Internet access as a human right. Yet when push came to shove they were the first to cast it aside as soon as that right was being exercised by those with which they disagree.

As far as I’m aware a human right is a right you’re born with. It’s a right you have because you exist. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

I don’t agree that Internet access is a human right. You’re not born connected to the Internet… yet. Wait until they jack us all in to indoctrinate us from birth. That’s a conspiracy theory for another day! But, let’s list some organizations that have pushed this narrative.

My research shows that internet access should be a human right provided by the government as without it, other human rights—including the right to work and the right to basic education—cannot be adequately realized.

United Nations

Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

The right to Internet access, also known as the right to broadband or freedom to connect, is the view that all people must be able to access the Internet in order to exercise and enjoy their rights to freedom of expression and opinion and other fundamental human rights, that states have a responsibility to ensure that Internet access is broadly available, and that states may not unreasonably restrict an individual’s access to the Internet.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Advocates should also galvanize the private sector to pressure the governments they work with to respect the right to the Internet by threatening to pull their investments. Just as activists named and shamed Nike and the Gap into ending child labor in their Vietnamese sweatshops, so they should similarly call out countries that harass, spy on, or disrupt or deny Internet access to its citizens.

Journal of Applied Philosophy

I argue instead that Internet access is itself a moral human right that requires that everyone has unmonitored and uncensored access to this global medium, which should be publicly provided free of charge for those unable to afford it. Rather than being a mere luxury, Internet access should be considered a universal entitlement because it is necessary for people to be able to lead minimally decent lives. Accepting this claim transforms our conception of the Internet from a technology to that of a basic right.

Journal of Applied Philosophy

Brookings Institution

In a world where internet shutdowns are increasing year to year, it is important that the right steps are taken to improve the relationship between governments and citizens and to uphold all human rights. The UN could advance the cause of universal internet access by using the SDGs as a stepping stone; those whose livelihoods depend on internet access or who fear that their access will be terminated will have the most to gain. The 193 signatory countries have already committed to improving internet quality, sustainability, and accessibility—a first step to internet access truly being treated as a human right.

Amnesty International

The rights enshrined in the UDHR are to be enjoyed by all people, in all places, and at all times. Technological progress will always change how people enjoy their fundamental rights, and require governments and people to reaffirm the inseparability rights, and the methods of enjoyment of those rights.

So… what is it? Is access to the Internet a human right or not? Apparently it is but only if you think correct thoughts. What the UN and other international groups need to do is issue certifications to people and groups so we know who is entitled to human rights. The rest of us will then know who is and who is not human.