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The question of human rights and internet access

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New York Times Op-Ed discusses the question of whether or not the internet is a "human right."

Vinton Cerf
Vinton Cerf

The New York Times Op-Ed columnist Vinton G. Cerf has penned an interesting piece taking up the question plenty are wrestling with currently: is access to the internet a "human right"? Cerf is a famous computer scientist, and considered one of the fathers of the internet. Cerf very convincingly and simply makes the argument that it is not, though his argument does not in any way detract from the technology's importance or impact on our lives. The internet, Cerf argues, is an important enabler of human rights, not a human right itself, an important point recently made by the United Nations. A finer point to Cerf's argument, however, is just how the engineers and technologists behind the internet are needed to help ensure human rights, with their "tremendous obligation" to empower users.