Technology

If Access to Internet is Basic Human Right, Then What About Access to Internet Porn?

|

A global survey of 27,000 people in 26 countries finds that "four in five people around the word believe that web access is a fundamental human right," reports the UK Telegraph (note: That finding is only summarized in the headline, not the body of the text for some reason). I'm not sure how to take that: Does that mean people should have free Internet, as the story implies, or does it mean that all people everywhere should have a right to create or buy Internet access free of government controls?

On the latter point, there's this heartening thought:

Seventy-eight per cent pollsters believe that the web gave them greater levels of freedom. This belief was most popular with the US respondents, who were also the respondents that were the most confident to express their opinions openly online….

Government regulation was not viewed as the correct method to solve [privacy, fraud, and hacking] issues, with over half of the 27,000 respondents agreeing that that internet "should never be regulated by any level of government anywhere".

More here.

Hat tip: Twitter feed of Milo Yiannopoulis.

NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Bombs, Foreclosures, and the Palmetto State

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. web access is a fundamental human right

    Not surprising in a world where health care is also considered a “right.” The line between rights and desirable commodities is increasingly blurred.

    1. In other words, once a product appears on the earth through other people’s hard work and ingenuity, people have a claim to it, though they didn’t even know of its existence previously. They then have the right to make other people provide them with their newly found product. It’s sick, really, but, you’re right, completely predictable given people’s utterly illiterate view of economics.

      1. The government’s own data show that the typical American defined as poor (according to the traditional, pre-Obama poverty measure) has two color televisions, cable or satellite service, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He also has a car, air conditioning, a refrig?erator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry, and he had suf?ficient funds in the past year to meet his family’s essential needs. While this individual’s life is not opulent, it is far from the stark images conveyed by the mainstream media and liberal politicians.

        http://article.nationalreview……tor?page=2

    2. So enlighten us, what is a “right?” What does it mean to say someone has a “right” to something? And perhaps a second question, perhaps not, what criteria can we use to tell what falls into this category and what does not?

      1. A right, contrary to popular belief, is not something to which one is entitled, but something with which one is born which cannot be taken away from him.

        1. A right is “something which with one is born and can’t be taken away.”

          Wow, that narrows it down.

          So again, what is a right? What criteria can we use to identify what claims are rights and what are not, other than the former are “things with which one is born and cant have taken away?”

          1. straight from Wikipedia:

            Rights are variously construed as legal, social, or moral freedoms to act or refrain from acting, or entitlements to be acted upon or not acted upon.

            1. How hilarious that you respond (and smugly at that) with a request for a specific definition with one that starts “are variously defined…”!

              So if rights are simply “legal, social, or moral freedoms to act or refrain from acting” then I see no quibble with someone thinking people should act and refrain from acting in a mix that makes internet access available to all.

              1. And I find it ironic that you are arguing just for the sake of arguing. You are asking questions that have no specific answers, because there are no specific answers to these questions. Nick asks in the post whether people mean that internet access should be a right in the meaning that it should be available for people to purchase from private internet providers or whether people think it’s a right that should be provided by a government entity or something similar. And that’s what the real question is when asking if internet access is a right. But the poll didn’t address this issue, and therefore, we don’t really know what people think.

                1. And I find it ironic that you are arguing just for the sake of arguing.

                  That’s MNG’s raison d’etre.

                2. “And I find it ironic that you are arguing just for the sake of arguing”

                  It’s just what Shit Facktories do. I no longer engage the stupid fuck (except to call him Shit Facktory).

              2. I think it’s pretty funny that every time you quote someone, you get it wrong. If you’re looking for specificity in others, try looking for it in yourself first.

                I’ll try another definition, since the first one was obviously too complicated for you. A right, in the constitutional sense of the word, is the protection of an action or behavior of a human being. It is something that is not bestowed upon one, but something to which one is entitled simply because one is alive.

                1. “It is something that is not bestowed upon one, but something to which one is entitled simply because one is alive.”

                  Like the right to be forced to purchase health insurance.

                  1. Not that kind of entitlement, silly! This kind of entitlement allows one to go out and study medicine so that he can be a doctor and provide for himself and his family. The kind you’re talking about isn’t an entitlement, it’s theft masquerading as an entitlement.

          2. That definition is sufficient to exclude a right to anything that didn’t exist for the first 99.99% of the duration of the human race. Such as, web access and modern medical care.

          3. Rights pertain to actions, not objects. You have right to own a gun, but a not a right to a gun.

            You have a right to speech, but no one has to provide a platform.

            That, incidentally, is why property is at the core of our rights. You have to have a place to do things, otherwise you’re at the mercy of the owners. Look at the rights of people living in public housing.

          4. Hello Shit Facktory!

      2. No one has a right to any positive thing. What rights we have are rights to be free from the interference of others in certain matters.

        And to more directly address your question, any conception of rights that includes 21st-century-level health care, let alone web access, is ludicrous.

        1. “No one has a right to any positive thing”

          Says who? I mean, state reasons why anyone should accept this assertion.

          1. No one has positive rights because such rights require that someone else be forced to provide whatever it is that one supposedly has a right to. Rights, as I understand them, have to do with things that you can do, not things that other people should do for you.

            1. That’s only when you want to be consistent… if you don’t care about logic, you can make the definition of rights much wider…

            2. So do we have a right to be unmolested in our homes? How does that right get protected without a taxpayer funded police force?

              The distinction between positive and negative rights is not really all that clear.

              1. So do we have a right to be unmolested in our homes? How does that right get protected without a taxpayer funded police force?

                Without taxpayer funded swat teams kicking in our doors, you mean? Probably by privately and voluntarily funded police forces – you know, the kind that get put out of business when they shit on people’s rights, because no one will subscribe to their services any longer if they do.

              2. So do we have a right to be unmolested in our homes? How does that right get protected without a taxpayer funded police force?

                By whatever means possible. Weapons, organized community services, private contracted services, etc. Government is simply one tool that men have constructed to protect the rights they believe are inherent.

      3. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are born with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

        The identifiable categories falling under the heading of a “right” under natural law are likely quite few. You have the inalienable right to be alive, because you are alive. Inherent in that right under natural law is the right to act in self-defense – meeting force with with force, including deadly force, if necessary to prevent imminent serious bodily injury or death. You have the right to certain liberties and freedoms – such as the right to pursue “happiness” – i.e., a livelihood, a trade or vocation, real and personal property, seek the mate of your choice, reproduce and raise your offspring generally as you see fit. Note that you have the right to “pursue” these things – there is not right or guarantee that you will achieve them. But nobody else is under any obligation to provide them for you or to assure that you acheive your desires. Just that you have the right to be free from an overbearing government that interferes with your ability to pursue such things.

        Other than that, I don’t think it would prove fruitful to attempt to enumerate a specific list of “rights” to which all are entitled under natural law merely by virtue of existing as a human.

        Which is precisely the trouble with the 9th Amendment.

      4. Imagine all the things (1) that you can do with no government around and (2) that do not infringe on the things another person can do.

        All of those are rights.

        For a properly functioning society and economy, you should add one more right that is not captured by that definition because it is, case-for-case, an exclusive right: the right to possess property.

      5. A right is when you pull up to a crossroad and turn your car towards the passenger’s side. Sometimes it is called hanging a right.

        Otherwise, a right is taking MNG’s money by force and using it to buy a triple cheeseburger at Wendy’s with fries and mayo.

        1. The Baconator is an inalienable American birth right

      6. Here ya go, MNG:

        A “right”, as defined by most libertarians, is the prevention against others using aggression or force to harm you.

        A “right”, as defined by most modern liberals, is the ability to make others provide you with things you want, if you can elect politicians willing to assist you in such theft.

      7. Okay, here’s my shot.

        Rights are fundamentally conflict resolution mechanisms, in which the state makes a determination about who is entitled to take certain actions or use certain resources, and a commitment to enforce that determination.

        All rights basically entail that other people have an obligation to *refrain* from certain actions that would interfere with that person’s ‘right’.
        For example, using a resource that someone else has been granted the ‘right’ to use is stealing, and the state will punish it.

        The problem with a ‘right’ to health care is essentially that the resources to be used aren’t just physically sitting around like mining rights or land rights.

        ‘Health care’ is a resource that is constantly changing, improving, and is composed of the actual time and actions of other human beings.

        This is problematic not only because it would entail a positive obligation to perform certain actions on the part of others, but also because the limits of what constitutes ‘health care’ are ill-defined. Do you have a right to an MRI, or just an X-ray?

        Consequently, a right to ‘health care’ is doomed to fail at it’s basic mission of resolving conflicts over resources. It’s too vague a term, and the boundaries of that right, and the obligations it imposes upon others are likely to be determined by a political, rather than a judicial process.

    3. link

      The Philosophy of Liberty…

    4. I couldn’t have said it better myself!!!

      1. Aw, c’mon, at least try. I betcha could.

  2. “four in five people around the word believe that web access is a fundamental human right”

    Teh word is LUV, but “web access” is becoming so fundamental (“right” or not) that we will see wars fought over it.

  3. Peanut M&M’s are a fundamental human right.

      1. but you told me porn was a right

        1. Must have been Edgar, my evil twin.

          1. That would explain the O”SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  4. I see internet access as being part of the right to freedom of speech. Free speech doesn’t mean that the government should pay to have whatever you write/say published, but it does mean that they shouldn’t be able to ban you from publishing.

    Along those lines, governments shouldn’t be able to cut off people’s access to the internet because it has become such an important avenue of speech. Banning access to the internet is the same as forbidding someone from using a telephone, writing letters, or speaking in public.

    1. This is performance art, right?

      1. Andrew just said banning access to the internet would be a violation of speech. You not only disagree, but find this absurd?

        Many countries ban or significantly restrict internet access. JW has to vent his incoherent, impotent right-wing rage even if, with a little reflection, he likely would have to agree with the opposing speaker. But those of us who’ve known ol’ JW for a while here could see that coming…

        1. Let me vent a little incoherent, impotent libertarian rage.
          This is performance art, right?

          1. Your right to free speech ends where my printing press (radio station, server, etc.) begins.

            1. Citizen, perhaps you are slow or dim-witted. Thankfully for you I am in a charitable mood to such folks.

              In some countries the government restricts, with threats of force, voluntary exchanges and transactions between internet providers and customers and between customer and customer.

              As Andrew said, and I highlighted (how many times around does it take for you to catch something?) “Banning access to the internet…”

              1. But those of us who’ve known ol’ MNG for a while here could see that coming…

                1. Ok, MNG. I give. I’ve tried, time and time again, to give you the benefit of the doubt — to assume that your missing of the point is often a rhetorical device, that your complete misunderstanding (or misrepresentation) of basic tenants of libertarianism (whether you agree with them or not) was feigned for effect.
                  You’ve finally worn me down. I concede that you really might be that stupid.
                  Bye.

                  1. Hm, I’ve simply pointed out here that libertarians should agree with Andrew’s statement that BANNING internet access would be wrong. I realize you all thought he was making a different claim, that people should be positively given internet access. But he wasn’t, as I’ve pointed out for the THIRD time. If you can point out how this misrepresents libertarianism, then by all means do so rather than the argumentative equivalent of crying and saying you’re taking your ball and going home..

                    1. I AM going home. And it’s a puck.
                      Waaaaaa!

                    2. Sigh.
                      Ok. Andrew G., given the context of this post, was at least inartful in his phrasing.
                      I see internet access as being part of the right to freedom of speech
                      Many would construe this as advocating a “positive” right to internet access.
                      If Andrew had said, “I see government prohibitions on citizens’ access to the internet as violating free speech rights” I’m sure we could ALL agree with him. If he had said “Warm fuzzy bunnies shouldn’t be run through wood chippers” I’m sure we could all agree with him, too.

                      Why the fuck do I bother?
                      I’m weak, I tells ya!

                    3. If he had said “Warm fuzzy bunnies shouldn’t be run through wood chippers” I’m sure we could all agree with him, too.

                      Don’t count on it, mac. All of these evil killabunnytarians have no respect for animal rights.

                    4. Citizen Nothing, you don’t need to bend over, MNG raped your little mind with his first response.

                  2. There is a reason he is in my incif filter.

                    1. That’s it, MNG. I’m unsubscribing from your newsletter.

                  3. Don’t forget to call him Shit Facktory the next time ya see him!

                    I wonder how the acronym “MNG” could be used to mean Shit Facktory?

                    Making Nightsoil Grow?

        2. I agree with MNG and Andrew on this point, we’re talking about the right to access, not the right to free service.

          1. The problem is that phrases like “banning access” have a whole life of their own in the collectivist’s mind.

            Not having sufficiently inexpensive high-speed Internet access could be considered ‘banning access’. Having to use dial-up instead of broadband could meet that criteria. Having to go to the library to gain web access could be the same thing. Are we talking about not having access to a free blogging site or blocking Twitter?

            Once we can stop reading Andrew’s mind and have a clear definition of what he talking about, then we can have a conversation. Until then, it’s just MNG’s small, indie theater, where he presents interpretive dance numbers.

          2. You don’t have a right to access either.

            You have the freedom to buy access where available. Not all freedoms are rights, nor should they have to be in a free society.

            The problem is that government has become so big that we feel the need to defend every freedom as if it was a right.

          3. You have the right to not have the government make a political decision to cut off your access to internet service because you are using it in ways that are not PC-approved.

            That is, you have the right to not have the government aggress against your ability to contract with a willing ISP to provide you with internet service in exchange for your subscription fee.

      2. Andrew G has it right. I think it would be more useful to think of it as an extension of Free Press. Freedom of the press does not mean that everyone should be provided with their own printing press and freedom to have internet access does not mean that someone needs to provide you with internet access.

    2. Their called libraries. They have Internet access for all. And it’s provided by taxes.

  5. over half of the 27,000 respondents agreeing that that internet “should never be regulated by any level of government anywhere”.

    “Except for making Comcast put my torrent through unthrottled, which is totally awesome.”

  6. regulation = services charges gubbermints won’t be able to resist

    1. It’s a tantalizing gold mine alright. Just sitting there…with so much social engineering still to be realized…it’s enough to make Nancy Pelosi weep, if her tear ducts had not been removed.

      1. She’s had so much botox they’ve closed up.

  7. “Seventy-eight per cent pollsters believe that the web gave them greater levels of freedom.”

    Because most normal people do not have the restrictive definition of liberty and freedom that the (ironically named) libertarian does. To them liberty doesn’t just mean “freedom from” some intereference, but expanded life opportunities, the freedom to do things.

    To a libertarian a law restricting sleeping under bridges impinges no more on the poor than the rich. Most people disagree. There’s often something to be said for common sense.

    1. PLAY FREE BIRD!!!!

    2. I know you were on the soda-tax thread, and you were too dense to read the comments posted by self identified libertarians that bemoaned the soaking the poor get from said taxes, and sin taxes in general.

      I don’t know why I’m arguing against your third sentence anyways, it seems to have no bearing whatsoever on the topic at hand. It seems the product of sloppy thinking. If I’m wrong, please elucidate and, set me straight. Lately though you have been making boneheaded arguments using dubious logic and disingenuous metaphors. If you tighten it up a bit you may find that you will have some rewarding exchanges here(no sarcasm).

      1. Hmm, perhaps YOU were not on the soda tax thread, or any of the literally hundreds of sin tax related threads where I have taken the same position I always have on such taxes: they are stupid and immoral.

        1. I wasn’t contesting your position(“I detest sin taxes..”), which I share. I was referring to the bridge thing, which to my untrained eye seemed to come out of left field. Libertarians have been pointing out for years that the social engineering schemes cooked up by the left and right usually have an adverse consequence for the poor and, for people of color.

          1. I see your point. Mine with the analogy is a limited idea of what “liberty” means. In Anatole France’s famous example people miss the idea that on a very narrow and limited mindset the rich and poor are, technically, exactly equally treated under the bridge law. Of course this ain’t so in reality. Likewise I maintain that libertarians have a too technical, limited and unnatural idea of what liberty and freedom means. I defend this assertion perhaps better in the top portion of my post.

            1. There are two sides to this coin libertarian thought, one would be idealism, and the other would be practicality. I would fall under the idealist side, asserting that to make up freedoms for some at the expense of others, no matter the disparate situations of the groups, is still coercion.

              Practically though, if we look at the monstrous machinations of bureaucrats, implemented to make some more equal than others, they are ineffective at best and detrimental at worse for the targets of their altruism. The culture of poverty and incarceration in minority communities continues unabated, despite, or maybe because of the meddling and tweaking of self absorbed politicians and activists. These politicians, pundits, experts, and activists lie all over the political spectrum, and will argue till blue in the face about how to change society through legislation totally missing the fact that their positions are essentially the same. And have the same consequence, less freedom over time for the individual.

              1. First sentence: insert an “of” where ever you see fit.

        2. Shit Facktory

    3. Not sure why I’m pointing this out to you for the 57th time, but the problem with “positive” rights is that they inevitably come into conflict with each other, much, much more commonly than negative rights do. Satisfying one person’s “right” to health care and internet access requires violating my property rights to fund them.

      1. Only if you assume your latter right is of the nature of a right, and that even if it is it would trump the latter, or further you assume that no right can exist that might conflict with another right (but of course you admit this cannot be the case: “come into conflict with each other, much, much more commonly than negative rights do”).

        1. I’m not assuming any of those things. Just pointing out that rights conflicts (which are seriously troublesome things) are more likely to occur if you have positive rights in the mix. A well-designed legal system will minimize such conflicts.

    4. I oppose laws against sleeping under bridges.

      1. I wish you guys would shut up – the sound of the cars passing above me is soothing. Back to bed under my blanket of last week’s Detroit News…ahhhhh

    5. This sounds like incoherent, blathering left-wing nonsensical rage. Should I use another adjective with useless, redundant meaning to show others how awesomely and impressively intelligent I am? The problem with left-wing common sense is that it confuses abundance with rights. Just because something exists doesn’t mean I should automatically have access to it, especially when I didn’t produce it in the first place. I don’t expect a collectivist to understand this at all. As soon as someone else invents something useful, the collectivist feels entitled to it.

      The problem with using the word “freedom” is that a left-wing thinker mixes it up with “free shit,” which isn’t such a problem for other languages like German where “Freiheit” has nothing to do with the costs of things or Russian where “Svoboda” means free from something. This is why it is much preferable to use the word “liberty,” which cannot be so distorted by the collectivist, statist thinker. The statist thinker believes abundance equals freedom, meaning the more free shit I have, the freer I am. Most of the statist’s criticisms of the free market stem from this fundamental logical flaw. It is a good argument against nature to say that some people have more things and others and are “freer” in some sense. However, it is a feeble argument against the free market, which depends on some people having more things to produce any new thing at all, which can then approve the lives of others. If we take away this right to do with one’s own products and labor what one wants, whether it be the destruction or sale of one’s own fruits, then we would lose the leftist’s so-called right to abundance overnight, and that is ironic, because every time the leftist statist thinker argues for regulation, he is arguing for restricting abundance.

      It is hardly surprising that anyone who uses a “most people think this way” kind of argument is such a sloppy thinker. Under this type of thinking, I have the right to expropriate MNG’s wealth and become “freer.” However, we could take the Russian view of wealth and abundance, that it merely adds to one’s obligations, making them less free, but that would violate MNG’s “most Americans” argument. That would be almost like using a long string of adjectives to show someone how intelligent you are. Who does that? Someone who confuses rhetorical skills with logic. It doesn’t take a genius to understand the implications of freedom equals abundance, but obviously it takes “most people” some time to figure it out. I am shocked, I mean shocked, that a left-winger would lower himself to plebeian level to make an argument.

  8. “four in five people around the word believe that web access is a fundamental human right,”

    _____________________

    Four out of five people need a good kick in the head

  9. Performance art is a fundamental human right, right?

  10. Your web access rights are belong to us.

  11. It’s OK to murder one person to save the lives of two, murder a million to save the lives of a million and one. When you don’t give a shit about the lives of individuals, when they are just numbers in a blind tally, any monstrosity is justifiable.

    Think of the massive increases in our happiness if he’d stop peddling this bullshit philosophy. But his happiness at annoying us means nothing in the face of our unhappiness at being annoyed. A small increase in his unhappiness would bring happiness to dozens and dozens of people. But he refuses to accept his role in the moral calculus.

    MNG is a hypocrite.

    1. Yes, but chances are one of those million people is Hitler.

    2. Clearly he’s not a Vulcan. (As if we couldn’t have guessed.)

  12. The problem with positive rights is that they are dependent, at the end of the day, in taking things from other people.

    If a “right” can be made to appear and disappear in the State’s budget, perhaps its not a right at all.

  13. “The problem with positive rights is that they are dependent, at the end of the day, in taking things from other people.”

    Are people morally required to assist the maker of a rights claim when it is violated? Are we morally required to help someone who is the victim of theft or trespass for example? To fund a police force which does these things? If so then this involves “taking” from someone to “help someone else.”

    1. No, no, and no.

      There would be no moral problem with anarcho-capitalism, for instance. But for pragmatic reasons minarchy is preferable.

    2. Having a police force is not a moral issue, it’s a practical one. In an ideal world, people who be responsible for their own security and getting justice if someone wrongs them. We live in a far from ideal world, however, so having a police force to respond to cries for help and to investigate crimes against people or property makes sense.

    3. MNG, you fail to see the distinction between morally required and legally required.

      Even if I say that I am “morally” required to help someone who’s rights have been violated, that’s a long way from saying I should be “legally” required to remedy that violation.

      If my neighbors property rights are violated by, say, arson, I am quite happy saying the moral thing to do is to let them stay at my house for a few days while they get back on my feet. Should the sheriff come knocking on my door and threaten to arrest me if I don’t? I don’t think so.

      Positive rights, at the end of the day, always seem to require that I be legally required to pay taxes to provide those “rights” for others. All these positive rights to housing, healthcare, internet access, etc., mean that the government should insure, using tax money, that everyone has them. Thus, I am legally required to pay taxes to buy stuff for other people.

      1. We need, you know, to spread the wealth around.

      2. I agree with your distinction between “moral” and “legal” rights, but I don’t think I am morally obligated to help someone who has been aggressed against. I might, if the person is close enough to me, want to help them, but random strangers 5,000 miles away? No. Such strangers I only owe a moral obligation to not impede in their pursuit of redress against those who wronged them.

  14. “If so then this involves “taking” from someone to “help someone else.”
    Serious question, MNG. Given your definition, don’t you find such “taking” to be the least bit repugnant?
    Why then shouldn’t we keep such (perhaps) necessary evils to the absolute minimum?
    (I personally like P.J. O’Roark’s “shoot your grandma” rule to determine how far we should go.)

    1. For those unaware, it is from O’Roark’s Parliament of Whores. The chapter on the Federal Budget is entitled Would You Kill Your Mother to Pave I-95?

    1. I repeated your error despite pulling my copy of PoW off the shelf and checking the exact chapter title.

      Doh!

      1. was it next to your copy of Michelle Obama: An American Story by David Colbert?

  15. obviously internet is not a right in the sense that life, liberty, and property are rights. it would be an entitlement and a very unnecessary one. take for example Philadelphia. they have city-wide government funded wifi access but its turning out to be a failure and I’ve heard they are getting rid of it. the last time I was in Philly me and friends were driving around and somewhere between the city and the airport we couldn’t figure out how to get where we wanted to go. so I flipped on my laptop and connected to an open PRIVATE wifi hotspot. and not just one but several and continue to. the point is even with free municipal wifi access I used a private shared wifi connection and it actually had better service. its funny that people are literally sharing their internet with anyone in range basically in the same and in fact more areas than the municipal wifi service and the speeds were usually better too.
    in the paper the other day there was a piece about rural areas of PA that didn’t have broadband access but you can get high speed satellite internet through various providers anywhere. there is also internet through cell phone signal and internet through HAM radio. everyone I know that lives “in the middle of nowhere” in PA has either cable or DSL. in fact some of the first people I knew that had a cable modem lived outside of town. these days unless you are in a really remote location you can get high speed internet at competitive prices and even in places that are very remote you can still get highspeed for a little extra than the average cost of cable/DSL.
    sorry for the long comment, but, the point is the private sector already has this covered way better than anything the government could do for us and even where you can leach a wifi signal you can pay for your own highspeed connection with a minimum wage salary.

    1. *even where you CAN’T leach a wifi signal…

      also in PA, at least, the people can petition the phone companies to force them to sell them broadband internet access, even if it is unprofitable.
      getting the government into this will make the internet worse, more expensive, and open the door for the FCC to attempt regulating the internet more.

  16. Reminds me of when I was in the Los Angeles Public Library back in October of last year – the main branch right in downtown L.A. As an out-of-towner, I was surprised and impressed to see the mass of people who were lined up and waiting for it to open at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. Many of them did not appear to be the typical library-going crowd. But then I remembered that the library provides free Internet access and also some job-related services, so I figured maybe some of them were there to get their weekly Internet access or seek employment.

    At one point, while I was using the library computer system to find some records in their archives, the guy in the carroll in front of me was browsing some particularly nasty porn. Now I really don’t care if you want to do that with your free time, but the monitor was right out there for anyone in about half of the room to see. I was surprised this guy was that blase about looking at tranny sex sites and some other nastiness. And I know that I would be pretty sour if my daughters had been with me and saw that nonsense.

    1. You only care about the mental sexual purity of your daughters? Sexist!

  17. To the extent that internet access is a “right” (not so sure it is), it would be at most a negative right, just as the others were meant to be. I.e., you have the “right” pursue and obtain internet access – seems to me to be a facet of First Amendment-protected activity. If the government takes action to prevent you from engaging in internet activity, I could see a 1st Amendment claim. But by the same token, I don’t see that the government has any obligation to make sure you get internet access, any more than the government has an obligation to make sure you get a newspaper or TV service.

  18. any more than the government has an obligation to make sure you get a newspaper or TV service.

    Did you miss the part where the feds were buying converters for the po’ folk so they could get high-def over the air for their 50″ TVs?

    1. Yeah I saw that jackassery and couldn’t believe they were using my tax dollars to help people watch TV. Apparently American Idle (intentional spelling) and Top Chef are also inalienable human rights.

  19. linked.. rights for dummies

  20. Google: “The Philosophy of Liberty”

    rights for dummies.. sorely needed it seems

  21. A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action?which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)

    The concept of a “right” pertains only to action?specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men.

    Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a positive?of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice. As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights.

    The right to life is the source of all rights?and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.

    Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object. It is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it. It is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values.

    Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness, “Man’s Rights”

  22. How did the topic of porn degenerate into a serious discussion of rights!??!

    1. Don’t worry. We made up for it in the “Schlitz” thread.

    2. The porn part of the header was a rhetorical question. Wasn’t it?

  23. Are people morally required to assist the maker of a rights claim when it is violated? Are we morally required to help someone who is the victim of theft or trespass for example? To fund a police force which does these things? If so then this involves “taking” from someone to “help someone else.”

    That’s three “no”s. Forcing people to pay taxes to fund someone else’s police protection is an immoral initiation of force.

    The NIOF approach is to make government-run police forces to protect your rights an optional purchase that you can decline to accept, and make other arrangements for your personal safety, if the price for government-run police service is too high, the service is sloppy, or they have a dismaying habit of kicking in doors and shooting dogs to prevent people from using drugs you want legalized.

  24. Hey geniuses where is it written that you have the right to keep every cent you get your grubby hands on?

    Not the constitution. Not the declaration. Not John Locke. Not Adam Smith. Not Milton Friedman. Nowhere, that’s where.

    What’s natural about this right you claim you have?

    Here’s the fun part: since clearly anything beyond a certain amount of subsistence money is not necessary to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, then there doesn’t seem to be a strong claim that you have a “right” to every last cent of your fortune.

    But even if you admit that a certain amount of money is necessary for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–and especially if you claim that you’re entitled to all the money you scrape up as a means to these ends–you’re admitting that society needs some level of redistribution in order for all citizens access to these basic rights to be realized.

    1. Hey geniuses where is it written that you have the right to keep every cent you get your grubby hands on?

      Not the constitution. Not the declaration. Not John Locke. Not Adam Smith. Not Milton Friedman. Nowhere, that’s where.

      A fallacy of authority is not a great way to open an argument.

      Here’s the fun part: since clearly anything beyond a certain amount of subsistence money is not necessary to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, then there doesn’t seem to be a strong claim that you have a “right” to every last cent of your fortune.

      Clearly there is no objective “amount” of money that can be determined, since the phrase “pursuit of happiness” is a subjective endevour. It will not be the same for each individual, not to mention is subject to frequent change.

      But even if you admit that a certain amount of money is necessary for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–and especially if you claim that you’re entitled to all the money you scrape up as a means to these ends–you’re admitting that society needs some level of redistribution in order for all citizens access to these basic rights to be realized.

      It is definitely true that there is a “level” of distribution necessary for all individuals to obtain the bare minimum of needs. But the kicker is that people don’t have to agree on the means by which this “distribution” is best accomplished.

    2. Now that we have that out of the way, give me all of your money. If no one has a right to money, then how can the government demand any of it? That would be the reductio ad absurdum argument based on your opposition.

      The minimum living requirements for everyone. Now, that sounds good. That would eliminate all modern economies overnight.

      The idiocy of such arguments is that free markets have produced the most wealth distribution the world has ever seen. Sure, there have been attempts to make it fairer, but those attempts all ended in making everyone worse off. Ironic!

  25. I am convinced that Tony = MNG.

  26. We also strongly believe that access to the internet should be basic human rights….

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.