background preloader

United Nations report: Internet access is a human right

Internet access is a human right, according to a United Nations report released on Friday. "Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states," said the report from Frank La Rue, a special rapporteur to the United Nations, who wrote the document "on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression." La Rue said in his report that access to the Internet is particularly important during times of political unrest, as demonstrated by the recent "Arab Spring" uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, among other countries. From the report: DOCUMENT: Read the United Nations report La Rue also urges governments to eschew laws that allow for people's access to the Internet to be blocked. Israeli newborn named 'Like' in tribute to Facebook -- Nathan Olivarez-Giles Related:  Internet Politics

Vint Cerf: Internet access isn't a human right | The Digital Home Although some countries around the world argue that Internet access is a fundamental right , one of the "fathers of the Internet," Vint Cerf, doesn't see it that way. "Technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself," Cerf, who is also a Google's chief Internet evangelist, wrote yesterday in an editorial in The New York Times. "There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. But not everyone is so quick to agree. The same year, the European Union's European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding wrote to the European Parliament, saying that Internet access is no different than other basic freedoms we value. "The new rules recognise explicitly that Internet access is a fundamental right such as the freedom of expression and the freedom to access information," Reding wrote at the time. But perhaps Reding and those who agree with her are missing the point. Speaking of civil rights, Cerf made headlines last month, as well, when he wrote a letter to the U.S.

Think Again: War - By Joshua S. Goldstein "The World Is a More Violent Place Than It Used to Be." No way. The early 21st century seems awash in wars: the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, street battles in Somalia, Islamist insurgencies in Pakistan, massacres in the Congo, genocidal campaigns in Sudan. All in all, regular fighting is taking place in 18 wars around the globe today. Public opinion reflects this sense of an ever more dangerous world: One survey a few years ago found that 60 percent of Americans considered a third world war likely. Expectations for the new century were bleak even before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and their bloody aftermath: Political scientist James G. So far they haven't even been close. Armed conflict has declined in large part because armed conflict has fundamentally changed. If the world feels like a more violent place than it actually is, that's because there's more information about wars -- not more wars themselves. Getty Images "America Is Fighting More Wars Than Ever." Yes and no.

Fast Internet access becomes a legal right in Finland (CNN) -- Finland has become the first country in the world to declare broadband Internet access a legal right. The move by Finland is aimed at bringing Web access to rural areas, where access has been limited. Starting in July, telecommunication companies in the northern European nation will be required to provide all 5.2 million citizens with Internet connection that runs at speeds of at least 1 megabit per second. The one-megabit mandate, however, is simply an intermediary step, said Laura Vilkkonen, the legislative counselor for the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The country is aiming for speeds that are 100 times faster -- 100 megabit per second -- for all by 2015. "We think it's something you cannot live without in modern society. Finland is one of the most wired in the world; about 95 percent of the population have some sort of Internet access, she said. "Universal service is every citizen's subjective right," Vilkkonen said.

EU decides against stricter net neutrality rules | Technology Commissioner Neelie Kroes said she will look out for instances of ISPs blocking or throttling access to services such as Skype. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images The European commission has decided against introducing legislation to protect net neutrality, saying media scrutiny and giving consumers enough information about their internet service provider will be sufficient to protect an "open and neutral" internet. Legislation to prevent telecoms companies from introducing a tiered internet, with some content arriving faster than others, has been ruled out. In a long-awaited report on its approach to net neutrality, the EU executive on Tuesday said "traffic management", or the prioritising of some packets of information over others, "is necessary to ensure the smooth flow of internet traffic, particularly at times when networks become congested". However, the commission has asked BEREC, the European electronic communications regulatory group, to investigate the extent of the issue.

Vint Cerf: Internet access is not a human right One of the fathers of the internet, Vinton Cerf, widely known for creating the TCP/IP protocol took the opportunity in a recent NYT article to dismiss the idea that the internet is a civil or human right, saying that some people are missing the point entirely. He argues that use of the internet is not a human right, but is merely a method of communication, and entities such as the United Nations should be concentrating on more fundamental worldwide problems and not on making broadband communications a human right. "Technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself," he writes. "There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Cerf continued, "The best way to characterize human rights is to identify the outcomes that we are trying to ensure. There is no doubt that the internet has been instrumental to the protests seen in the Middle East and parts of Northern Africa in the last year.

UNESCO The flag of UNESCO. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (French: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture; UNESCO; /juːˈnɛskoʊ/) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). UNESCO has 195 member states[2] and nine associate members.[3][4] Most of the field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries; there are also national and regional offices. UNESCO pursue its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. UNESCO's aim is "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information".[6] History[edit] The first General Conference took place from 19 November to 10 December 1946, and elected Dr. Activities[edit] UNESCO does not accredit institutions of higher learning.[42]

Facebook Now Knows What You're Buying at Drug Stores In an attempt to give advertisers more information about the effectiveness of ads, Facebook has partnered with Datalogix, a company that "can track whether people who see ads on the social networking site end up buying those products in stores," as The Financial Times's Emily Steel and April Dembosky explain. Advertisers have complained that Facebook doesn't give them any way to see if ads lead to buying. This new partnership is their response. The service will link up the 70 million households worth of purchasing information that Datalogix has with Facebook profiles so they can see if the ads you see changes the stuff you buy and tell advertisers whether their ads are working. Specifically, Datalogix gets its information from retailers like grocery stores and drug stores who use loyalty discount programs to amass careful records of what their customers are buying. Facebook has put some privacy protections in place to head off a similar reaction.

European Commission Favors Consumer Choice Over Net Neutrality Legislation European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes won't legislate net neutrality for all, but those who want "access to a robust, best-efforts Internet with all the applications they wish" should have the opportunity to buy such a service, she said Tuesday. It is important to ensure that Internet users can always choose full internet access, Kroes wrote in a blog post. "I don't like to intervene in competitive markets unless I am sure this is the only way to help either consumers or companies. Preferably both," she wrote. It is better to regulate in favor of consumer choice instead of forcing each and every operator to provide full Internet access, Kroes said. Kroes cited data from a new report from the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) that surveyed fixed and mobile operators as part of a study to find out whether net neutrality legislation is required in the E.U. However, for most Europeans, their Internet access works well most of the time, Kroes said.

Vint Cerf: 'The internet is not a human right' 10 Ways to Build a Better Big Data Security Strategy Vint Cerf is warning that people who insist that the internet is some sort of human or civil right are missing the point. In an op-ed piece in The New York Times, Cerf – regarded by many as one of the fathers of the internet for his role in creating TCP/IP – explained that technology isn’t a human right in itself, but merely an enabler for more concrete things such as communication. He criticized the UN and others for taking the position that broadband communications is a human right, saying that we should instead focus on more fundamental problems. “Technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself,” he writes. “There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. It might be argued that internet access was a civil right, since it is something that people look to governments to provide as a matter of course. “Improving the Internet is just one means, albeit an important one, by which to improve the human condition.

Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers 2013 By Jeffrey Beall Released December 4, 2012 The gold open-access model has given rise to a great many new online publishers. There are two lists below. The second list includes individual journals that do not publish under the platform of any publisher — they are essentially independent, questionable journals. In both cases, we recommend that researchers, scientists, and academics avoid doing business with these publishers and journals. There are still many high-quality journals available for scholars to publish in, including many that do not charge author processing fees. The author is grateful to the many colleagues who have shared information about potential predatory publishers. The criteria for inclusion in the lists can be found here. A PDF version of this document is available here. List 1: Predatory Publishers List 2: Individual Journals: Like this: Like Loading...

Pressure for EU net neutrality rules 13 December 2011Last updated at 11:20 ET Europe could be moving closer towards regulation on net neutrality The European Council of Ministers has called for the principle of net neutrality to become law, adding to pressure on the European Commission to act. The council called on member states to ensure "an open and neutral net". Proponents of net neutrality want to see all internet traffic treated equally, regardless of its type. The European Parliament has made similar calls, while some countries are drawing up national guidelines. The Council of Europe is made of ministers from all member states and shares legislative power with the parliament. European consumer groups said that the council's endorsement of this principle meant pressure was mounting on the European Commission to act. Monique Goyens, director general of the European Consumers' Organisation (BEUC), said: "EU member states have today called an open internet a priority for national parliaments. Traffic management

UN report declares internet access a human right A United Nations report said on Friday that disconnecting people from the internet is a human rights violation and against international law. The report railed against France and the United Kingdom, which have passed laws to remove accused copyright scofflaws from the internet. It also protested blocking internet access to quell political unrest. While blocking and filtering measures deny users access to specific content on the internet, states have also taken measures to cut off access to the internet entirely. The Special Rapporteur considers cutting off users from internet access, regardless of the justification provided, including on the grounds of violating intellectual property rights law, to be disproportionate and thus a violation of article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The report continues: Source: