Internet access is a human right, says UN

( A United Nations report released on Friday announced that access to the Internet is a human right, reports Time magazine. "The Internet has become a key means by which individuals can exercise their right to freedom and expression," explained UN Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue.

The UN report also targeted laws in France and the United Kingdom, which block Internet access to those guilty of illegal file sharing. The UN report, as quoted by, said "Regardless of the justification provided, including on the grounds of violating intellectual property rights law, (denying users access to the Internet is) disproportionate and thus a violation of article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights." He urged states to amend or avoid intellectual copyright laws that deny violators Internet access.

In Time, La Rue said that Internet access should be a priority for all states especially since it has proven to be an indispensable tool for realizing human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating progress.  He also called on the states to ensure that Internet access is maintained at all times, including during political unrest, according to


La Rue also urged governments to strive "to make the Internet widely available, accessible and affordable to all." Regarding security, La Rue said that states can opt for online anonymity, privacy, and data protection and defamation laws.

For more on this story, log on to Time and


24 Oras report aired June 8

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