In 2011, The United Nations has declared Internet access a human right. Disconnecting people from internet is now against international law, as it is considered a human rights violation. In its Seventeenth Session, UN Human Rights Council had an agenda of Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
The recent Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue () highlights the issues of Internet access. The report explores key trends and challenges to the right of all individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through the Internet. Two dimensions of Internet access respectively: access to content; and access to the physical and technical infrastructure required to access the Internet itself, are explored in the report.
“Very few if any developments in information technologies have had such a revolutionary effect as the creation of the Internet. Unlike any other medium of communication, such as radio, television and printed publications based on one-way transmission of information, the Internet represents a significant leap forward as an interactive medium,Indeed, with the advent of Web 2.0 services, or intermediary platforms that facilitate participatory information sharing and collaboration in the creation of content, individuals are no longer passive recipients, but also active publishers of information.” the report says.
In the report you find information about General Principles on the right to freedom of opinion and expression and Internet, Restriction of Content on the Internet, Access to the Internet and the necessary infrastructure, and recommendations.
With Google censored in China in 2006-2010, and Middle East uprisings of the last two years, controlling the flow of information from events witnesses to the Internet medium by blocking Internet access and other forms of communication, the issue of Internet access as a right became more and more pressing.