Should Internet access be considered a human right?

The Internet's place in human rights is the topic of the 9:00 hour of Midmorning today (May 27, 2011) and of our Today's Question feature on MPRnews.org and Facebook.com/MPRnews. Here are some audience responses:

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  1. On Midmorning:
  2. Today's Question:

  3. People who say "no."

  4.                     Michael Donovan:

  5. No. It's a human right like pizza delivery is a human right.
  6.                     Clark:

  7. NO. Is this another so called right the freeloaders are demanding so they can confiscate more of my income? Likely another demand of the lefties. How about the word responsibility to earn Internet access. Exactly why I have never and will never vote for radical left democrat. What a bunch of losers!
  8.                     Alan:

  9. Really...this is probably the most ridiculous question I've seen on here. The fact that it is even on here shows what a spoiled society we have become and why folks with two cars, cable, internet, cell phones and dinners out three times a week are crying about how they are being "sqeezed."
  10.                     John:

  11. For those with limited resources in today's world, even "disposable" cell phones can provide some accessibility and there certainly are libraries and other locations where the internet can be accessed.
  12. People who who answered with a qualified "no."
  13.                     Joe Vejtasa:

  14. Internet access shrinks the world, spreads knowledge, reveals injustices in the world and advances us all as a human race. Maybe not to go as far as a human right, but like health care, it should be made available and affordable to everyone
  15.                     Derek Burrows Reise:

  16. Internet access is not an individual human right. But it is increasingly becoming a civic right. To have a healthy, functioning society, the population needs access to information. In today's world, that is unconstrained access to the Internet.
  17.                     Susan Vos Anderson:

  18. That's going a little too far IMO. Esp. in a country where health care is not even in that category. Or in other areas where many people don't know where there next meal is coming from. That's not to say its not important, let just keep it real though.....
  19.                     Naomi Kritzer:

  20. I would compare it to library access. It's not a human right, but there's something profoundly wrong when a community doesn't have one.
  21. People who say "yes."
  22.                     James P. Berka:

  23. In a flat world (As Thomas Friedman coins it) it seems only right that everyone have the same opportunity at advancement. Those who do not have access to the internet will simply fall further behind as time goes on. They deserve the right to make it in the world. Having internet access is part of that right. Rather than think of the internet merely as a technology, we must think of it also as the sheer idea of "connectedness." In the modern world, to be connected is to have opportunity.
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