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)

An Eerie Tour of Chernobyl's Wasteland

"Do not touch the water. There is nothing more irradiated than the water itself."


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

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In