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 Free internet should be a human right

According to a new study, free internet access should be considered a human right, as people unable to connect to the internet, especially in developing countries, lack meaningful ways to influence the global personalities who lead them in their daily lives.

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As political participation on the Internet increasingly develops, the basic freedoms that many consider, including freedom of expression, freedom of information and freedom of assembly, are undermined if some citizens have internet access and others do not.
New research reveals that the Internet can be a fundamental means of protecting other basic human rights, such as life, freedom and liberation, and a means to enable billions of people to lead "minimalist" lives.

Dr. Martin Riglitz, professor of global ethics at the University of Birmingham, has published his results, the first study of its kind, in the Journal of Applied Philosophy.

Dr. Riglitz commented: "Internet access is not a luxury but a moral human right. Everyone should have uncontrolled access to this universal medium, and be provided free of charge to those who cannot afford it."

"Without this access, many people lack a meaningful way to influence and hold supranational rule-makers and institutions accountable. These people simply have no say in crafting the rules they must comply with and that shape their life chances."

He added that the exercise of freedom of expression and access to information now depends heavily on access to the Internet. Much political debate in some countries takes place online and policy-related information is shared online, which means that the relative value of these freedoms for people who cannot access the Internet has diminished.

Dr. Riglitz's research attributes the unprecedented potential and importance of the Internet to protecting basic human rights to life, liberty, and bodily integrity.

While acknowledging that internet access does not guarantee these rights, she cites examples of online participation that has helped hold US government and institutions accountable. These are examples of the great role of the Internet in that:

- The Arab Spring: New ways to report government atrocities globally.

- Documenting unjustified police violence against African Americans in the United States.

- #MeToo Campaign: Help eliminate sexual harassment of women by powerful men.

In his study, Dr. Martin Riglitz added that the human right to access the Internet is similar to the universal right to health. According to the non-governmental organization The World Wide Web Foundation, founded by the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, "the affordability of the Internet" One of the most important obstacles to universal Internet access, but it is solvable. Around 2.3 billion people lack access to the Internet at its unbelievable prices, and this must end sooner so that all people have access to the Internet for free.
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