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RIGHT TO INTERNET

Global Perspective
The right to Internet access, also known as the right to broadband, is the view that all people
must be able to access the Internet in order to exercise and enjoy their rights to freedom of
expression and opinion and other fundamental human rights, that states have a responsibility to
ensure that Internet access is broadly available, and that states may not unreasonably restrict an
individual's access to the Internet.

In July and August 2012 the Internet Society conducted online interviews of more than 10,000
Internet users in 20 countries. In response to the statement "Access to the Internet should be
considered a basic human right":

1. 83% responded that they somewhat or strongly agreed


2. 14% that they somewhat or strongly disagreed
3. 3% didn't know.

In summer of 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a non-binding
resolution condemning intentional disruption of internet access by governments. [11] The
resolution reaffirmed that "the same rights people have offline must also be protected online."

The secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), "Dr Hamadoun


Toure, 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". "We have entered the knowledge society and everyone must have
access to participate."

Last year, the UN issued a declaration which was widely interpreted as an affirmation of access
to Internet as a basic human right. A closer reading, however, suggested that it primarily focused
on imploring states to refrain from taking any measure that disrupts citizens access to the
Internet. However, the UN declaration also went on to affirm the importance of applying a
comprehensive human rights-based approach in providing and in expanding access to
Internet So far it is clear that there are two distinct issues involved here:
1) The access of Internet services to people who cannot afford it currently, and
2) The disruption of Internet services for current users.

Indian Perspective
Citizens have the right to access the Internet to gain information, wisdom and knowledge
and their right cannot be curtailed unless it encroaches into the boundary of illegality, the
Supreme Court observed on May 13 2012.

Calling the Internet a virtual world and a world which is invisible in a way, the
Supreme Court observed that the fundamental right of expression includes the right to be
informed and the right to know and the feeling of protection of expansive connectivity the
Internet offers on the click of a button.

The court clarified that a general prohibition on all online content about pre-natal sex
determination will curtail the fundamental right to know of a genuine information-seeker.

After Finland became the first country in the world to recognize the right to Internet
access, Kerala is all set to become the first state to do the same in India. Kerala, in India
became the first State to grant Right to access Internet to its Citizens as a basic right.

In 2016, Kerala had become the first 'Digital State' in India after successfully linking all
villages in the state with broadband connectivity under the National Optical Fibre Network
(NOFN) project .

Kerala is also one of the few states in India to make IT education compulsory in school
since 2003. According to the government data, as of January 2016, the number of internet
users in a rural area in Kerala was 5.97 million which accounted for 5.29% share i n All
India.

With the increasing involvement or average time to be spent by a head on internet along with the
advancement in country. Internet has also become a medium of expressing ones views and
opinions and also a medium to get information which is guaranteed by article 19 of the Indian
Constitution. With the time and further development one day right to internet will be granted as a
basic human right to its citizenry in India.