In 2012, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations determined that a connection to the internet is a human right. Among other things, the resolution encourages nations without widespread internet coverage to improve access for all citizens. The resolution also condemns any attempt to impede free speech online. The resolution was updated and unanimously adopted again in 2014 and then again in 2016, demonstrating that all members of the Council recognize the importance of free access to information and the right to freedom of expression online.
Though the resolution doesn’t specifically address net neutrality, it does condemn the practice of disrupting or preventing internet access. Net neutrality is an important aspect of online communications and should also be considered a human right.
What is Net Neutrality?
The internet is a platform based on the free and open exchange of information. Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers, governments and other entities providing or monitoring internet access must treat all data the same, without regard to the user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment or mode of communication.
Without a guarantee of neutrality, service providers can restrict certain websites, slow streaming speed for video services and funnel customers to sites they control versus their competitor’s sites.
Threats to Net Neutrality
Just as there are efforts to block other forms of free speech, there are many financial and political incentives for governments and corporations around the world to restrict the freedom of the internet.
ISPs Selling Data