Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We have entered the knowledge society and everyone must have access to participate. -Hamadoun Toure

So it all started with the week-long internet outage; then again, this morning, the Red Bleepy Light of Death, screwing up another day. I freelance; my work is dependent upon secure internet access.

The BBC recently reported that 4 of 5 people around the world consider the internet a fundamental human right. Estonia and Finland have made this a law. Japanese, Mexican, and Russian respondents say they couldn't cope without the internet.

(Insert snarky comment to Orange Broadband and email to Amnesty International detailing their lack of respect of my human right.)

I certainly wouldn't be able to survive abroad without the internet. It's the way I keep in touch with my family, with my friends; it's the way I know what's on the NYT Bestseller List and who wore what to the Oscars. One might say my lovely husband and I were an internet romance; for the first two years, we were all skype and emails, floating from Slovenia and Switzerland to Scotland. Hours on the phone trying to figure out Ryanair and Easyjet flight options. It's the story of many who live apart from their partners.

But a fundamental right? Yes. There's no excuse for ignorance when a million viewpoints are accessible. The only limitation is language and common sense. This beautiful internet thing is a stellar indulgence. And a fundamental right.

Hamadoun Toure, via the BBC: "The internet is the most powerful potential source of enlightenment ever created."

"(Governments must) regard the internet as basic infrastructure - just like roads, waste, and water."

Dear Orange Broadband...


Sharon said...

Can appreciate and identify with your frustration. Hope it is remedied quickly.

Jesse and James said...

Thanks for not making me feel like a loser for loving my internet :) I'm not alone in my addiction to the florescent haze coming from the screen. I'm afraid in Tokyo it's become my replacement for the sun.

sgazzetti said...

I am certainly sympathetic, and consider internet access as up there with electricity in terms of necessity. I get the shakes if the internet goes out, whether I actually need it just then or not. But if 4 of 5 people are calling it a human right, I suspect the BBC is only polling those who have it.