Web access: a basic human right

Tim Berners-Lee declared access to the Web a human right at an MIT symposium this week on Computation and the Transformation of Practically Everything. He noted that it’s incredibly important to push things, in designing the Web’s infrastructure, to help the Web affect society and culture positively. Nicholas spoke later on the current impact of OLPC and the future of the XO-3.

3 thoughts on “Web access: a basic human right

  1. Actually, there’s a more fulsome and considered expression of this idea coming out of Hillary Clinton at the State Department. See especially her landmark speech on internet freedom in January 2010 declaring “the freedom to connect” a new, fifth pillar of freedom, building on top of FDR’s famous “Four Freedoms” speech.

    Clinton said: “…governments should not prevent people from connecting to the internet, to websites, or to each other…”


    “The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly, only in cyberspace.”

    This is entirely consistent with the Obama Administration’s posture during the Arab spring, despite the demand it faced from hawks to crack down on internet freedom in the face of the wikileaks furore. (IMHO Obama hands not clean on that score)

    read the clinton speech here:


    • Thank you for that pointer! It is not quite like the freedom of assembly, I would say, but more like the freedom to move about the country without restriction… .

  2. “Tim Berners-Lee declared access to the Web a human right”

    That settles it then. Is the UNHRC the appropriate body to complain to in case of a service outage?

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