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Arguing that Internet Access Is a Human Right

In the Communications of the ACM, Cornell professor Stephen Wicker responds to a 2012 New York Times editorial by Google Chief Internet Evangelist and ACM President Vint Cerf that posits that Internet access is not a human right. In disagreeing, Wicker argues that a human right comprises both an “abstract expression of the right and some means for enabling that right,” and goes on to point out that the consequences of the Internet meriting human right status include non-discriminatory access to a wide variety of ISPs and support for common carrier rules that prevent ISP blocking or discrimination based on content.

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