Posts Tagged ‘civil rights’

Internet Censorship and Human Rights

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Vinton Gray “Vint” Cerf, the famous computer scientist regarded as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” has provided article in the New York Times declaring the idea that the Internet must be a human right. While Cerf understands the power of the Internet, makes arguments from a mechanical perspective and fails to perceive the Internet in any fashion.

He breaks the article into two sections making the point. Firstly, he argues that the Internet cannot be considered as a human right. Cerf makes a solid point in the first portion of the piece. Technology cannot be considered as a human right. Cerf illustrates the point that one point in time, if you didn’t have a horse, it was hard to earn a living. Cerf is correct in this regard. Human rights, often thought of as natural rights, that are fundamental to our existence, like access to food and water.

The second point made by Cerf is valid too. In the second portion of the article, the author argues the Internet is not a civil right. Civil rights, that ensure our personal liberty, are vast and or expanding the information technology expands the difficulty of civic discourse. Nothing makes this clearer than the challenges provided to civil rights bills such as the Stop Online Privacy Act and National Defense Authorization Act.

The Internet gives freedom of speech, traded, shared and expounded. The Internet should be considered a civil right, it allows citizens the right for free speech, presenting a foundational civil right.

Cerf is right in dividing rights into human and civil rights, he is wrong in arguing that the web is not a civil right.