Internet Access Viewed as Fundamental Human Right
Is unfettered Internet access a fundamental human right? Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton believes it is and said as much during a speech on Internet censorship earlier this year.
It appears this belief is widely held. The BBC put the question to more than 27,000 adults in 26 countries and got a yes from four out of five, which is nice to hear.
Less pleasant were respondents’ answers to questions about free speech on the Internet. Asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “the Internet is a safe place to express my opinions,” the survey group was almost evenly split: 48 percent agreed, 49 percent did not. The countries in which respondents were wariest of expressing their opinions online: Germany (72 percent), South Korea (70 percent), France (69 percent), Japan (65 percent) and China (55 percent).
Interesting list, isn’t it? Certainly, you’d expect to see China, Japan and South Korea on this list, but Germany and France? Seems odd–to me, anyway.