Hot on HuffPost Tech:

See More Stories
Free Switched iPhone app - try it now!
AOL Tech

We fair humans of Earth believe Internet access to be a fundamental human right

Today seems to be 'rights for all!' day, or something. It's quite easy to get rights and privileges mixed up, which is the only explanation for the results of the BBC World Service survey: four in five people believe that Internet access is a fundamental right. Like the right to marry, or freedom of speech, Internet access should be chiselled into our constitution.

The BBC survey also has some other interesting findings: unsurprisingly, Nigerians and South Koreans believe the Internet should not be regulated by the government under any circumstances -- while in the UK, 55% believe that some regulation is necessary. The urge towards nationwide unregulated Internet access was strongest in South Korea, where 96% of those surveyed think Internet access is a fundamental right (Starcraft junkies!) -- while in Japan, Russia and Mexico, 75% said they 'could not cope without Internet access'.

I wasn't going to react, but then I also heard the news that Vegans are about to be protected by the Equality Bill here in the United Kingdom. Basically, just like religion, Veganism is being classified as a 'belief'. Cool huh? Anyway, that got me thinking about rights -- inalienable, from-birth, thou-shalt-prise-from-my-cold-dead-hands rights. Is Internet access really something that we should expect, without taxation, without anything in return? We're not talking about 'world peace' or some kind of intangible: we're talking about a network that is actively expanded and maintained.

'A fundamental right' is too strong a term. Breathing air is a human right, but Internet access? Speaking your mind to those that are near you is one thing, but the right to rant like a headless chicken into the infinite ever-reverberating space of the Internet? I don't buy it.

Tags: access, bbc, fundamental right, FundamentalRight, human rights, HumanRights, internet, privileges, rights, vegan