United Nations declares Internet access 'a human right'
Free Internet 'an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights'
The Internet is an awfully important thing to have in the 21st century. It is so important that the United Nations has declared free and uninterrupted Internet access as a basic human right, "an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress."
The report highlights the impact of online collaboration in the Arab Spring and says that 'facilitating access to the Internet for all individuals, with as little restriction to online content as possible, should be a priority for all States.'
The report highlights the impact of online collaboration in the Arab Spring and says that "facilitating access to the Internet for all individuals, with as little restriction to online content as possible, should be a priority for all States."
The U.N. report overwhelmingly supports the Internet as a communication platform, a boon to all democratic societies, but it also warns how the Internet's unique architecture threatens power brokers in repressed, authoritarian states.
The Internet is rooted in unique characteristics, such as its speed, worldwide reach and relative anonymity. At the same time, these distinctive features of the Internet that enable individuals to disseminate information in "real time" and to mobilize people has also created fear amongst Governments and the powerful.
This has led to higher restrictions on the Internet through the use of increasingly sophisticated technologies to block content, monitor and identify activists and critics, criminalization of legitimate expression and adoption of restrictive legislation to justify such measures.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Internet, inequality, Arab spring, whistle blowers
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