This week, the Internet Governance Forum – a global multistakeholder meeting convened under the auspices of the United Nations – meets in Brazil. Similar to last year’s event, zero rating and net neutrality were the hot issues up for debate yesterday.
Underlying many of these debates, however, is an important question: Is access to the Internet a human right?
What is a human right?
Human rights are rights we believe individuals can claim as a fact of being human. The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights discusses a number of topics including foundational principles (dignity, liberty, equality, and brotherhood); one’s right to life; the prohibition against slavery; the rule of law and the rights of those charged with crimes; freedoms for movement, association, thought, conscience, and religion; and social, economic, and cultural rights (education, housing, adequate standard of living, health, science, and culture).