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Is Mobile Broadband a Luxury Or a Human Right?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the thou-shalt-not-be-stuck-with-dial-up dept.

Wireless Networking 332

concealment sends this quote from an article at CNN: "Moderating a discussion on the future of broadband, Mashable editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff tossed a provocative question to the audience: 'By quick show of hands, how many out there think that broadband is a luxury?' Next question: 'How many out there think it is a human right?' That option easily carried the audience vote. Broadband access is too important to society to be relegated to a small, privileged portion of the world population, Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson, said during the discussion. Dr. Hamadoun Touré, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, echoed Vestberg's remarks. 'We need to make sure all the world's inhabitants are connected to the goodies of the online world, which means better health care, better education, more sustainable economic and social development,' Touré said."

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A Luxury (5, Insightful)

siphonophore (158996) | about 2 years ago | (#41611733)

One must be careful about diluting the word "right." Leave it at 3, and protect them fiercely.

Re:A Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611857)

A Luxury ... One must be careful about diluting the word "right."

Yes, one must be careful, but I would still say that internet access is a right or is quickly moving toward becoming one

When living your life often requires internet access, then it becomes a right. If everyone had provided the non-internet equivalent of the daily services, then maybe it would be a luxury

Example: Many providers (online vendors, credit cards, etc) try to hide a phone-based or even human-based customer support. Email forms are your only way

Example: Rent a video from the vending machine. Want a receipt? Well, you can enter an email

The number of examples where email/broadband availability is ASSUMED will increase in the future, because it is cheaper to remove human cost from the equation. Thus, the non-internet minority will become marginalized to an increasingly greater degree.

Re:A Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611943)

spoilt brat springs to mind here! Food is not a human right yet without it you will die?

Re:A Luxury (0)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | about 2 years ago | (#41611997)

Not being marginalized is not a human right.

Re:A Luxury (3, Insightful)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | about 2 years ago | (#41612089)

Here is a good way to express it. People have a right not to be ACTIVELY marginalized (i.e. singled out in some way and oppressed). People do not have a right not to be PASSIVELY marginalized (living in some disadvantaged way due to their own inability or inaction).

Leftist "rights" advocates are not able to see the difference.

Re:A Luxury (2)

Maxx169 (920414) | about 2 years ago | (#41612173)

Yeah, but just because you've given them cute names doesn't mean that it's easy to distinguish between the two polar extremes in all but the most trivial of cases. You'll tend to find that most 'marginalized' people are there because of both active and passive factors to lesser and greater degrees. Those to the left perhaps draw the line in a slightly different place to where you'd personally place it.

Re:A Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612183)

But not all passive marginalization results from inability or inaction on the part of the marginalized.

Re:A Luxury (1)

scot4875 (542869) | about 2 years ago | (#41612229)

Leftist "rights" advocates are not able to see the difference.

Derp.

--Jeremy

Re:A Luxury (1)

Loughla (2531696) | about 2 years ago | (#41612013)

A Luxury ... One must be careful about diluting the word "right."

Yes, one must be careful, but I would still say that internet access is a right or is quickly moving toward becoming one

When living your life often requires internet access, then it becomes a right. If everyone had provided the non-internet equivalent of the daily services, then maybe it would be a luxury

Example: Many providers (online vendors, credit cards, etc) try to hide a phone-based or even human-based customer support. Email forms are your only way

Example: Rent a video from the vending machine. Want a receipt? Well, you can enter an email

The number of examples where email/broadband availability is ASSUMED will increase in the future, because it is cheaper to remove human cost from the equation. Thus, the non-internet minority will become marginalized to an increasingly greater degree.

None of those things are necessities for life. To survive, to be alive, I do not need to use on-line vendors. I do not need credit cards. I do not need to rent videos.

I want to do those things, but by no means do I need to. The problem is that most people, the AC included, at this point do not understand the fundamental difference between need and want.

Re:A Luxury (5, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#41612035)

When living your life often requires internet access, then it becomes a right.

Living your life more often requires a car than internet access. Is owning a car a right? Do we all get free cars?

Re:A Luxury (5, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41612177)

When living your life often requires internet access, then it becomes a right.

Living your life more often requires a car than internet access. Is owning a car a right? Do we all get free cars?

Plenty of people live without both, and neither one is a right. This is silliness that's being used to sell electronics.

Re:A Luxury (2)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 2 years ago | (#41612479)

Forget about cars. What about food, water, a place to sleep and stay warm. Shouldn't those be a right and placed first in line and not this internet thing that seems to just be a craze.

Re:A Luxury (4, Insightful)

Mephistophocles (930357) | about 2 years ago | (#41612055)

How incredibly naive.

When living your life often requires internet access, then it becomes a right.

I don't know whether to feel sorry for you or just be disgusted by the fact that you think one can't live one's life without internet access. What basic function of existence, exactly (and by the way, entertainment - as per your video machine rental analogy - isn't a basic function of existence) becomes impossible without the internet? How exactly do you think mankind lived before the internet existed (and by the way, I'm an old(ish) fart so I've spent more of my life without the internet than with it)?

The number of examples where email/broadband availability is ASSUMED will increase in the future, because it is cheaper to remove human cost from the equation. Thus, the non-internet minority will become marginalized to an increasingly greater degree.

And here you've committed a horrible and dangerous logical error, thereby missing the fact that marginalizing a segment of mankind because they a) can't afford a service, or b) choose - for whatever reason - not to spend money on that service, would be a pretty facist action. Whether or not it happens anyway isn't the issue; tacit acceptance of that happening (and thereby mandating that service as a human right) is.

The internet is a wonderful thing - and access to it is certainly a nice thing to have. It does make some aspects of living in a 1st-world country very convenient (we can argue later about how convenience can and often does destroy skill, but for now we'll assume convenience is a good thing). But the absence of it does not make life unlivable. Anyone who says different probably works for Comcast. :)

Re:A Luxury (1)

Aaden42 (198257) | about 2 years ago | (#41612231)

I'm not quite ready to call renting movies or having a credit card a human right. If you can't do those things without broadband... Well... That's unfortunate, but it's hardly going to kill you.

Granted, if you have mandatory government "services" that require it like paying your taxes, then I start to see where you're going. Don't have email, can't pay your taxes any other way, go to jail. Okay... That's starting to make email a necessity of existing legally in society. Prior to that point though, the things I've personally seen that require email/Net access to do haven't crossed over into anything that you need to do.

Now on the flip side, for a government to attempt to block access, I would consider that an infringement of basic rights in the sense that it's censorship. But for it to not be provided to you if you can't otherwise afford it isn't something I see as an issue. Odds are pretty good there's a library that will give you access for free, and you can sign up for (?:G|Hot|Yahoo)Mail gratis.

Re:A Luxury (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612319)

When living your luxurious life often requires internet access

FTFY

Re:A Luxury (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#41612325)

When living your life often requires internet access, then it becomes a right.

False. Also, living life does not require internet access.

Re:A Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611887)

Good luck with that. We can't even agree on a universal definition of life or liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

Re:A Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612047)

Fun note: The original text was "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Land" [amazon.com]

Re:A Luxury (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 2 years ago | (#41612005)

If you are fine with just three rights, be my guest.
I prefer a few more, like a right for privacy or a right to dignity.

Re:A Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612175)

Why does the headline say "mobile broadband", when TFS just says "broadband"?
Slashdot's out of touch. You don't know how many millions are still comfortably using cheap dialup for their email and occasional websurfing.

Re:A Luxury (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41612297)

One must be careful about diluting the word "right." Leave it at 3, and protect them fiercely.

By the time that half of the common things people have been doing will be online, not being able to access the (commercial, government) computers will be almost akin to American blacks being discouraged from voting, or other population groups being misinformed of prevented from having equal access to stuff.

Re:A Luxury (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612369)

A human right is something that you can't take away because its inherent in the nature of the being. Any right that is granted can naturally be taken away.

Re:A Luxury (1)

gawaino (1191849) | about 2 years ago | (#41612427)

The three are: 1.The right not to be killed. Murder is a crime, unless it is done by a policeman, or an aristocrat. 2.The right to food money, providing of course, you don't mind a little investigation, humiliation, and, if you cross your fingers, rehabilitation. 3.The right to free speech (as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it). --"Know Your Rights" The Clash

Re:A Luxury (1)

Artraze (600366) | about 2 years ago | (#41612437)

Well, that ship already rather sailed:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights [wikipedia.org]

Where we have a "right to an adequate standard of living" ("freedom from want"). Of course, I am (because it is?) unclear whether "right to" means 'must be provided' or 'must be allowed'. Putting that aside, however, I guess it is an interesting question as to whether or not internet access can be considered an important part of an adequate standard of living. I don't really see it in there, but if you were to imagine that there was a "right to communication" somewhere in free speech, then internet access could well be seen as part of an adequate standard of living. Or if you build it up as part of a right to education you might be able to swing it.

Of course, the idea that it be mobile or broadband is ridiculous. But dialup on an old PC? ...maybe.

You're paying, right? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611739)

It's a crowd -- ask them if bacon is a Human Right and you'll get the same response.

Re:You're paying, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611991)

I MUST HAVE MY PR0N IT'S A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT!

I'm not using too many caps Slashdot filter I promise!

You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611741)

Oh spare us the human "rights" that involve other people paying for the stuff you want.

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611775)

Word. No material object or service can ever be a human right.

Of course, you can say equal access to those goods and services is a human right, i.e. nobody should be denied access at the whim of another, but that's very different from saying "everybody is entitled to broadband service."

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#41611877)

Precisely, because if you choose to define a "right" to include a good or service, then why not make it a "right" to pay for it?

And who says how much? I thought so...

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611989)

You NEVER have a "right" to a service. That is slavery.

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612045)

All "rights" have an implied responsibility. Usually, it's for everyone else to respect that right. That's why you don't have a right to your opinion, but you can have a right to free speech. The implied responsibility for everyone else is to allow you your free speech.

If you have a right to mobile broadband (it's worth noting that you don't), then the implied responsibility is on someone providing it to you instead of depriving you of it.

So yeah, we're stupid about this. We don't have a right to food, we don't have a right to shelter, we don't have a right to internet connectivity, and we certainly don't have a right to mobile broadband.

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41612219)

Word. No material object or service can ever be a human right.

Of course, you can say equal access to those goods and services is a human right, i.e. nobody should be denied access at the whim of another, but that's very different from saying "everybody is entitled to broadband service."

Nobody is denied access on the whim of another. If they want to move somewhere where a company sells internet access and choose to pay for it, any person may have it. I don't think some internet company is going to say "Whaoh, there.. you're from Somalia despite the fact that you now live in London. No soup for you!"

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (1)

Spazmania (174582) | about 2 years ago | (#41612161)

Precisely. An "entitlement" is a service someone is required to provide to you. A right is generally defined in the negative: No one is permitted to do X to you. No one is permitted to prevent you from doing Y.

Right to life - not allowed to kill you.
Freedom from torture - not allowed to torture you.
Freedom from slavery - not allowed to require work from you.
Right to a fair trial - not allowed to penalize absent a fair trial.
Freedom of speech - may not prevent you from speaking your mind.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion - may not prevent you from practicing your religion.

Internet Access - may not prevent you from pirating my wifi? What the heck kind of right is that?

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (1)

pawned (2673579) | about 2 years ago | (#41612169)

rights != entitlements In the US I (supposedly) have the right to bear arms and the right to freedom of the press. That does not mean that the government has to provide me with an AK-47 or a printing press.

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (1)

kwerle (39371) | about 2 years ago | (#41612361)

OK...

Then maybe internet access is just an aspect of speech, and we leave it at that?

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (1)

scot4875 (542869) | about 2 years ago | (#41612315)

If a thing is basically a requirement to be a productive member of society, society had better make sure it's pretty easily attainable by all people, or you'll suddenly have classes of people that can't be productive when they can't access that thing.

And before you go all "but public wifi is available everywhere, and public computers with internet access are available at the library!" You've still got 2 classes of people: those that can afford their own wifi and computers, and those that have to spend 2 hours round-trip just to wait in line to use a basic utility that most people take for granted.

I'm not convinced that internet access is completely necessary at this point, but at the same time, I haven't tried to function with no internet access since the early '90s.

--Jeremy

Re:You have the right to pay for your own stuff. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612547)

Oh spare us the human "rights" that involve other people paying for the stuff you want.

Hell yeah, access to food or medicine can't be a right either. Or someone might have to pay for it. So down with foodstamps, unemployment payments, etc, etc.

In a civilized society, we establish some minimal bar (food, water, shelter), which we try to provide for every member of that society. That's how I read "right" - as in, we'll try to provide it, if you can't afford it. Even if someone does have to pay for it

WTF (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611749)

This is about the dumbest article that I've ever seen on slashdot. Kudos.

Binary question (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41611751)

A luxury or a human right. What there isn't a middle ground here?

Re:Binary question (1)

BStroms (1875462) | about 2 years ago | (#41611783)

Exactly. It's a highly valuable resource and something for which there's a strong argument to get to as many people as possible. But I wouldn't go so far as to consider it a basic human right.

Re:Binary question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611883)

It cannot be a *basic* human right if someone else has to provide it for you. As proof, what happens when that person withdraws their consent to provide it? You have two choices; 1. Go without (i.e. not a basic right) or 2. Force them to provide it against their will (i.e. violate the other person's basic rights). How can it be a basic right if guaranteeing it means violating the basic rights of others?

Re:Binary question (1)

Score Whore (32328) | about 2 years ago | (#41612441)

How can it be a basic right if guaranteeing it means violating the basic rights of others?

I'm nearly positive that I have a basic human right to a weekly three-way with Jessica Biel and Scarlett Johanson.

(Actually, I've always wondered why it is that if I choose to work and receive a salary then a portion of that salary is to be given to others, but if the eighteen year old hotty next door chooses to have wild monkey sex at least a portion of that isn't with me! Damn the injustice of life!)

Re:Binary question (2)

CodeheadUK (2717911) | about 2 years ago | (#41611893)

Yep.

It's a very handy/nice thing to have, but you can live without it.

Re:Binary question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611925)

I agree, its a utility (in the power grid sense) with increasing utility (in the economist jargon sense).

Right now I know plenty of people who don't have broadband internet (for various reasons). And I don't think their human rights are being violated but I do feel they are at an economic disadvantage (in the same sense that country folk have more expenses tied to sewer issues than city folk etc).

For me it is a necessity, I rely on fast internet to provide me income, information, etc. For them its a luxury because they can get by with out it.

Calling broadband a human right is a bit far fetched. A human right by definition is something you cannot be a full human without. Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness comes to mind. Internet access can be a tool to these ends, but not an end to its self.

Re:Binary question (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 years ago | (#41611973)

I agree, its a utility (in the power grid sense) with increasing utility (in the economist jargon sense).

Right now I know plenty of people who don't have broadband internet (for various reasons). And I don't think their human rights are being violated but I do feel they are at an economic disadvantage (in the same sense that country folk have more expenses tied to sewer issues than city folk etc).

For me it is a necessity, I rely on fast internet to provide me income, information, etc. For them its a luxury because they can get by with out it.

Calling broadband a human right is a bit far fetched. A human right by definition is something you cannot be a full human without. Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness comes to mind. Internet access can be a tool to these ends, but not an end to its self.

Though it's probably worth recognizing that the first step to denying people those things is trying to inhibit or shutdown access to the internet and other types of communications.

Re:Binary question (1)

Spazmania (174582) | about 2 years ago | (#41612275)

There are many middle grounds here.

One is that Internet access should be an -entitlement- like Social Security or Medicare. If you cannot afford Internet access, Internet access will be provided for you.

Another is that Internet access is a staple of life. Like denying food or water runs afoul of the right to life and freedom from torture, denying Internet access runs afoul of freedom of speech, thought, conscience and religion. You still have to buy it and you can only have what you can afford. But it can't be arbitrarily denied.

It's a luxury. (1)

reubenavery (1047008) | about 2 years ago | (#41611755)

IMO-- Lets first make food a right (and access to clean water, air, etc) and then let's talk about owning a laptop and broadband as a fundamental human right. Till then this sort of thing comes off as very first world centric.

No (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611769)

Basic human rights are something that you have that can be taken from you in the absense of liberty, not an entitlement that has to be taken from someone else via tax or other public incentive

Right vs Good Idea (5, Insightful)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about 2 years ago | (#41611773)

It's not a right, but that doesn't mean it's not a good idea. I think societies will find that the benefits of setting it up are worth more than the cost.

Re:Right vs Good Idea (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | about 2 years ago | (#41612293)

If it's worth the cost to "society" then it's worth the cost to the private entrepreneur who will invest his own money to set it up in the expectation of future profits from people who are willing to pay for the service.

Rights versus someone else's property (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#41611779)

Rights are only appropriately applied to liberties. You never have the right to someone else's property or labor. Goods and services are not something you can have a "right" to.

Access may be a compelling social good but it is absurd to call it a right.

Re:Rights versus someone else's property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611915)

Having property is itself excersising a right against others. Why is it yours and not theirs? And the results of your labor often fall into the same sphere.

But in this case, the property is so fungible that your own labors are irrelevant to it.

Might as well argue that access to the courts is not a right.

Re:Rights versus someone else's property (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#41612001)

Rights are only appropriately applied to liberties.

Not that I necessarily disagree, but how did you arrive at that definition of right? It seems to come from the bare assertion that liberty is the highest ideal. I'd like to see that assertion defended a little more clearly.

Re:Rights versus someone else's property (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41612199)

Of course you can have a right to property, for example in many places you have a right to healthcare. A universal human right is a different thing and I agree with you in that they should only contain natural rights, however this isn't the case [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Rights versus someone else's property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612271)

Mobile broadband is not someone else's property. The frequencies used along with the utility lines and trenches that supply the backbone of broadband access are all public resources. Public resources should be used in a way that maximizes their benefit to the public.

Other countries get this, and use public funds to build a high capacity backbone then allow other companies access to provide data services over these public lines in a competitive environment. In the US, however, we give essential ownership of these public resources to a small number of companies so that they can monopolize access for the sole purpose raking in huge profits.

No. (1)

xenon54 (167168) | about 2 years ago | (#41611787)

Fundamental human rights should be limited to the basics. If we expand the definition of fundamental human right to include ownership of a high-tech device that did not even exist 20 years ago, we really miss the point.

Telephone (2, Insightful)

Zeromous (668365) | about 2 years ago | (#41611793)

It's a luxury stupid.

50 years from now people will reminisce about cablemodem "party lines" and such, but just because a luxury is cheap, does not make it a human right.

You have a inalienable human right to speak and to listen, but not to be heard (by whatever means of conveyance is completely irrelevant).

Conveyance beyond your own two feet, larynx and lungs, is a luxury. Plain and simple.

It depends on (1)

hackingbear (988354) | about 2 years ago | (#41611795)

which political part wins the election and what kind of companies contribute to that party. Got it?

There is a pretty wide disparity between... (4, Insightful)

jpstanle (1604059) | about 2 years ago | (#41611799)

There is a pretty wide disparity between "Luxury" and "Basic human right."

I'd hardly call indoor plumbing, 99.9% uptime electricity, or interstate highways to be "basic human rights," but they're pretty much essential for an modern, industrial society/economy.

Neither (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611817)

It's like electricity: most of the modern world needs it, but it is neither a luxury nor a right.

Silly false dichotomy (4, Interesting)

fischerville (1458275) | about 2 years ago | (#41611819)

This is the silliest of false dichotomies. It's not a luxury because it's so widely and cheaply available. It's not a human right because it's a proper commodity like everything else. Not everything that is desirable is a human right.

Have a bunch of "rights" for you, from 1936. (2, Interesting)

Zeio (325157) | about 2 years ago | (#41611833)

Here is a bunch of "rights" for you, fresh from the 1936 USSR constitution.

CHAPTER X

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS

ARTICLE 118. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to work, that is, are guaranteed the right to employment and payment for their work in accordance With its quantity and quality.

The right to work is ensured by the socialist organization of the national economy, the steady growth of the productive forces of Soviet society, the elimination of the possibility of economic crises, and the abolition of unemployment.

ARTICLE 119. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to rest and leisure. The right to rest and leisure is ensured by the reduction of the working day to seven hours for the overwhelming majority of the workers, the institution of annual vacations with full pay for workers and employees and the provision of a wide network of sanatoria, rest homes and clubs for the accommodation of the working people.

ARTICLE 120. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to maintenance in old age and also in case of sickness or loss of capacity to work. This right is ensured by the extensive development of social insurance of workers and employees at state expense, free medical service for the working people and the provision of a wide network of health resorts for the use of the working people.

ARTICLE 121. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. have the right to education. This right is ensured by universal, compulsory elementary education; by education, including higher education, being free of charge; by the system of state stipends for the overwhelming majority of students in the universities and colleges; by instruction in schools being conducted in the native Ianguage, and by the organization in the factories, state farms, machine and tractor stations and collective farms of free vocational, technical and agronomic training for the working people.

ARTICLE 122. Women in the U.S.S.R. are accorded equal rights with men in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life. The possibility of exercising these rights is ensured to women by granting them an equal right with men to work, payment for work, rest and leisure, social insurance and education, and by state protection of the interests of mother and child, prematernity and maternity leave with full pay, and the provision of a wide network of maternity homes, nurseries and kindergartens.

ARTICLE 123. Equality of rights of citizens of the U.S.S.R., irrespective of their nationality or race, in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life, is an indefeasible law. Any direct or indirect restriction of the rights of, or, conversely, any establishment of direct or indirect privileges for, citizens on account of their race or nationality, as well as any advocacy of racial or national exclusiveness or hatred and contempt, is punishable by law.

ARTICLE 124. In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the U.S.S.R. is separated from the state, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of antireligious propaganda is recognized for all citizens.

ARTICLE 125. In conformity with the interests of the working people, and in order to strengthen the socialist system, the citizens of the U.S.S.R. are guaranteed by law:

        freedom of speech;
        freedom of the press;
        freedom of assembly, including the holding of mass meetings;
        reedom of street processions and demonstrations.

These civil rights are ensured by placing at the disposal of the working people and their organizations printing presses, stocks of paper, public buildings, the streets, communications facilities and other material requisites for the exercise of these rights.

ARTICLE 126. In conformity with the interests of the working people, and in order to develop the organizational initiative and political activity of the masses of the people, citizens of the U.S.S.R. are ensured the right to unite in public organizationsâ"trade unions, cooperative associations, youth organizations,â(TM) sport and defense organizations, cultural, technical and scientific societies; and the most active and politically most conscious citizens in the ranks of the working class and other sections of the working people unite in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), which is the vanguard of the working people in their struggle to strengthen and develop the socialist system and is the leading core of all organizations of the working people, both public and state.

ARTICLE 127. Citizens of the U.S.S.R. are guaranteed inviolability of the person. No person may be placed under arrest except by decision of a court or with the sanction of a procurator.

ARTICLE 128. The inviolability of the homes of citizens and privacy of correspondence are protected by law.
       

I like the sound of Life, Liberty, Property and Pursuit of Happiness.

Seems enshrining things as rights in a police state mean NOTHING.

Re:Have a bunch of "rights" for you, from 1936. (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41611881)

You forgot the "some pigs are more equal than others" at the bottom.

Re:Have a bunch of "rights" for you, from 1936. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41612033)

You forgot the "some pigs are more equal than others" at the bottom.

That's an implementation problem, not a theoretical one.

On paper, communism is just as theoretically sound as any other socioeconomic principle.

Re:Have a bunch of "rights" for you, from 1936. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612195)

"Seems enshrining things as rights in a police state mean NOTHING"

That's because they missed one: the right to bear arms.

Idiotic. (2)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about 2 years ago | (#41611845)

I'm glad to hear so many championing common sense. Of course it isn't a right. No one has a right to other people's property or the fruits of other people's labor, and that's what network connectivity of all kinds is.

Its a Luxury (0)

jzarling (600712) | about 2 years ago | (#41611847)

Clean food, and water. Free basic education. A safe place to live. Those as the basic human rights - IMO

Re:Its a Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612111)

Austrolibertarians say you have only the right to not have your property be violated (e.g. murder, assault, kidnapping, theft, or fraud).

But you don't have the right to steal clean food, water, education, or shelter from others. If you fail to obtain these things legitimately - e.g. through exchange, charity, homesteading, or other means - then you are perfectly free to die.

Re:Its a Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612149)

Clean food, and water. Free basic education. A safe place to live.

Who is going to provide those for you? Are you going to force them at gunpoint to do so? What about their own liberty, i.e. choice of action and right of conscience?

Re:Its a Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612351)

"Who is going to provide those for you? Are you going to force them at gunpoint to do so?"

No, he's going to rely on a complicated apparatus that involves cages and hired thugs pointing guns at people to extract wealth from them.

If you don't like this solution, you must be inhumane and uncharitable.

Re:Its a Luxury (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | about 2 years ago | (#41612163)

no, no, no and no. All these things have non-zero costs and require others to provide them to you.
Rights are things that you can't be depraved of in absence of external intervention violating them. If you are alone in the desert unprepared you can say any shit you want, you can self-determine who you are and what not, but you can die of dehydration. Obviously you have a right to self-ownership but you don't have a right to water, if you had, you wouldn't die because of lack of it.

Re:Its a Luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612455)

Clean food, and water.
Free basic education.
A safe place to live.

Those as the basic human rights - IMO

There is a difference between rights, necessities and privileges. Everything you've listed falls into the later two.

1.2 billion people don't have access to a toilet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611863)

http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/sanitation/ [water.org]

More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes.

http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/ [water.org]

and food prices are volatile, but steadily increasing:

http://www.heifer.org/blog/2011/06/rising-food-prices-starve-or-sacrifice.html [heifer.org]

It's a disease. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611865)

Or an addiction.

Human right is no more about broadband than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611867)

Human right is no more about broadband than knowledge is about paper.

Human Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611879)

Human rights should purely revolve about principles that one person shouldn't oppress another one.

If we say that having certain material, economic goods is a right, that means someone is obligated to provide it to you for free if you do not have it.

But obligating others to provide for you is oppression.

"Human Right"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611885)

So are you going to pay for it?
When ever someone says "Human Right" it usually translates to I want you to pay for it so I can use it.
"Human Rights" should be limited to ones that don't cost money for other people.
Like breathing, or most of the US Bill of Rights.
Like the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

What is this guy talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611891)

"Broadband access is too important to society to be relegated to a small, privileged portion of the world population,Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson, said during the discussion."

In the USA, if you are poor, you can get free internet access at the library.

In other countries without internet access, well, they probably don't have access to other things as well, like books or music, etc.

No rights here, move along. (2)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | about 2 years ago | (#41611895)

Only in nutville does a right mean using force to get someone else to give you something they have for free.

Re:No rights here, move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612273)

Sadly, you are describing the entire world, not "nutville". The misguided idea that stealing from others is a right is commonplace. It is behind things like taxation and conscription. It is at the heart of all governments.

In fact, governments are nothing but criminal organizations that are bestowed with a patina of legitimacy by their large number of deluded supporters. These governments will not be efficient in providing goods and services because they do not face market disciplines like private businesses must.

One wonders what humanity could have accomplished if rampant theft wasn't tolerated.

Re:No rights here, move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612561)

The misguided idea that stealing from others is a right is commonplace. It is behind things like taxation and conscription. It is at the heart of all governments.

Idiot, you don't HAVE any property without the protection of government. Personal property is a legal fiction. Insofar as the government defines what property is, it also defines when your property is forfeit. Painful, I know, but the truth hurts, innit?

I'm confused? Mobile Broadband or Regular? (2)

NinjaTekNeeks (817385) | about 2 years ago | (#41611907)

Are we talking about broadband like home internet, or "mobile" broadband like phones and tablets?

In either case, I don't believe they are a "right", they are a luxury. Hell, even electricity isn't a "right", try not paying your bill for a couple months.

Re:I'm confused? Mobile Broadband or Regular? (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | about 2 years ago | (#41612071)

Yeah, I was confused too. The article and summary refer to "mobile" broadband, yet TFA clearly quotes Lance Ulanoff referring to just broadband (not mobile).

That's three levels of "rights" to take into consideration. Is Mobile communications a right? Is Broadband a right? And THEN on top of that, is *mobile* broadband a right?

Re:I'm confused? Mobile Broadband or Regular? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 2 years ago | (#41612109)

Came here to post exactly the same thing. Broadband is something that is much more essential to life these days than mobile broadband.

Does anyone feel that access to cable television is a fundamental human right?

One mans right is another man's jobs program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611923)

If I was making a wage and pension rolling out networks, I'd lobby to make it a right that I'd have a job and pension forever too.

The TV makers union wants HDTV to be a right as well.

Other possible "human rights": (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41611937)

* Unlimited healthcare
* Food, clothing, and shelter
* Unlimited transportation

The trouble with all of these, and Broadband, is that there isn't enough soup to put in everybody's bucket.

Or, to put it another way, unlimited broadband as a right is a lovely dream, but who has calculated what the actual cost of providing it is and who would pay the price for all?

False dichotomy (1)

srussia (884021) | about 2 years ago | (#41611969)

FTFS: "By quick show of hands, how many out there think that broadband is a luxury?' Next question: 'How many out there think it is a human right?

Actually exercising their human rights is a luxury for the vast majority of people in the world.

On the other hand, the right to enjoy luxuries is also being curtailed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumptuary_law [wikipedia.org]

Basic Human Rights Should Remain Somewhat Constant (1)

macromorgan (2020426) | about 2 years ago | (#41612023)

Thinking longer term helps you understand the difference between a necessity and a basic human right. 100 years ago, freedom of speech was a basic human right. 100 years from now freedom of speech will be a basic human right. 100 years ago mobile broadband was not a basic human right, and who is to say it will be around (in current form anyway) in 100 years. I suppose we could have labeled the telegraph a basic human right 100 years ago, but that would be considered preposterous today.

Human Right. Think Libraries. (1)

aoeu (532208) | about 2 years ago | (#41612065)

And cheaper to deploy.

Cart before the horse (1)

CQDX (2720013) | about 2 years ago | (#41612079)

If they want to talk about human rights, they should be talking about the right to live in a democracy or republic, with a free economy, and with the right to free speech. Without that, broadband is meaningless as it will be essentially a heavily restricted private network with the eyes of the government always on you.

Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness (5, Insightful)

Revotron (1115029) | about 2 years ago | (#41612105)

1. Life: Can you survive without it? Yes.
2. Liberty: Does not having it limit your freedom of speech, right to bear arms, right to a fair and speedy trial, or other consitutional rights? No.
3. Pursuit of Happiness: Could you live a happy life without it? Yes.

It is not a right to be bestowed upon you, it is an opportunity afforded to you by others. As such, others may request compensation for it.

I'm getting sick of this new generation of entitlement.

Re:Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612203)

I'm getting sick of this new generation of entitlement.

New generation, same as the old generation -- with more gadgets.
And when push comes to shove death panels sound a lot more appealing than paying for grandma and her social security and medicare entitlements (for us, they're called taxes).

Re:Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612425)

>And when push comes to shove death panels sound a lot more appealing than paying for grandma

So government X is extorting money from you to pay from grandma Y, and you r solution is to have X sentence grandma to death.

Broadband = a luxury; Connectivity = a necessity (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#41612129)

First, mobile or not is secondary, the question is whether people are connected to the Internet or not. Mobile is generally the best way to do it (cheaper infrastructure, cheaper terminals, no needs for reliable/permanent mains power...), so let's accept mobile is best, though this might be untrue in some circumstances (cities, st world countries...) where fixed would be OK too.

Second, broadband or trickle-band is moot: the question is whether people have access to Internet or not, not whether that access is fast or slow. It's amazing what you can do on a slow internet connection, when you really need to. Checking produce prices, matching sellers and buyers, transport pooling... doesn't require an awful lot of bandwidth. Only video does require a lot of bandwidth, and this is rather luxury. Even good sound doesn't need broadband.

Finally, pipes are nice, but it's what travels through them that's really key. I'm not sure FaceBook and YouTube are *that* vital.

Re:Broadband = a luxury; Connectivity = a necessit (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#41612349)

Connectivity is also a luxury. The internet as a public commodity is less than a generation old, fer cryin' out loud.

I'm sorry, but ... (1)

stevez67 (2374822) | about 2 years ago | (#41612331)

Internet access, like transportation and cell phone service and cable or satellite TV and food and shelter, are commodities we purchase. While they may all be necessities in many people's minds they simply are NOT human rights. A human right is something you're born with and no one can take away. Someone may "violate" your human rights but they can't take them away and human rights cannot be bought and/or sold.

there's no such thing as natural human rights (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41612377)

there's merely values a society holds dear. the success or failure of that society is based on what those values are and how dearly the society holds those values

if it holds those values so fervently that it calls them natural human rights and fights and dies for such so-called rights, then that society will succeed if those rights indeed help the society thrive better than other societies with a different set of values. the human rights the USA holds dearly i think enriches the happiness and productivity of society enough that the USA succeeds as well as it does

some other societies hold other values to the point of fighting to the death, which i will not name, but a review of current events will reveal what i am talking about. it is my assertion that those values those other societies will fight to the death for doom those societies to less happiness and less productivity and therefore the dustbin of history, eventually, as they are simply out competed

as for mobile broadband, i can see a just society handing out cell phones to homeless and poor people to guarantee a baseline of voting rights and access to health records and financial abilities. but it will take time before cell phones reach that level of indisputable necessity and ubiquity. but we are definitely headed in that direction

in other words: not yet, but someday, when your cell phone is your credit card, id, bank account, patient records, etc., you will need such access to be called a right

Working out swell thus far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612435)

Why don't you go ask someone from the Middle East how well internet access is working out over there, if you can get them to stop calling for filmmaker's heads on platters for five seconds.

As much a right as immovable Broadband.I guess (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 2 years ago | (#41612477)

We really going to stir up this old pot again?

Depends on the whiny bitch complaining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41612539)

Honestly, WTF? really? what complete moron even Asked this question, and hopefully someone smacked them in the head.

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