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Four in five believe internet access is a fundamental right

Four in five people around the world believe that web access is a fundamental human right, according to a new survey.

The poll, which collated the answers from more than 27,000 people across 26 countries and was conducted on behalf of the BBC World Service, found that 87 per cent of interne t users felt that web access should be a basic right. More than 70 per cent of non-users felt they should have access to the net.

In Japan, Mexico and Russia, nearly 75 per cent of respondents said they could not cope without their internet connection. Ninety per cent of those polled in Turkey believed web access was a fundamental human right, making it the strongest supporter of the widely held sentiment.

"The right to communicate cannot be ignored," Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), told BBC News.

"The internet is the most powerful potential source of enlightenment ever created."
He said that governments must "regard the internet as basic infrastructure - just like roads, waste and water".

Seventy-eight per cent pollsters believe that the web gave them greater levels of freedom. This belief was most popular with the US respondents, who were also the respondents that were the most confident to express their opinions openly online. [Read more]

Some thoughts to ponder: Perhaps it's the time for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be updated? Hehe. :-)

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