The Case for (and Against) Internet Access as a Human Right

More

Vint Cerf is ruffling nerds' feathers with his Thursday op-ed in The New York Times that claims in almost trollish fashion: "Internet Access Is Not a Human Right." This is funny (and incendiary) because Vint Cerf is sort of the guy who invented the Internet. That was in 1969 when Cerf worked as a principle programmer on the Pentagon's ARPANET project and helped to connect the very first two nodes of what would grow to become the Internet as we know it. Now that the Internet is a tool that spawns revolutions, creates empires and hosts way too many very cute pictures of kittens, the United Nations is pushing to make Internet access a human right. And now Cerf, one of the humans who can legitimately take credit for creating the technology, doesn't like that idea. Did we mention he used to work at Google?

Before we get too fired up about Cerf's controversial stance on the Internet rights issue, we should give due diligence to go a bit deeper than the few quotes getting passed around the blogosphere. As rebuttals to his argument percolate, it's useful to address Cerf's points, line-by-line. So what we've done is take these quotes out of the context of Cerf's Times op-ed and placed them into the larger debate about what the Internet is and does. From the nut graf -- it's the third one -- to the final sentence, Cerf takes a pretty philosophical approach, and it's easy to get riled up if you take him literally rather than seriously. Because we like getting riled up, let's do both.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Jump to comments
Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In