Is Internet Access A Human Right?

Thankfully, Vint Cerf understands that it’s not.

Though it is time once again for the great Walter Williams column: Rights vs. Wishes.

Internet Access Is Not a Human Right – But that argument, however well meaning, misses a larger point: technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself. There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. It is a mistake to place any particular technology in this exalted category, since over time we will end up valuing the wrong things. For example, at one time if you didn’t have a horse it was hard to make a living. But the important right in that case was the right to make a living, not the right to a horse. Today, if I were granted a right to have a horse, I’m not sure where I would put it.

  • Anonymous

    …..look at the problems we got into when people thought that everyone had a right to “own a house”  Ella’s class is talking about wants vs. needs….maybe everyone needs this lesson:-)