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Internet now a Human Right

The United Nations Human Rights Council has unanimously agreed that access to the Internet is a basic human right, signing a resolution on July 5 stating that access to the Internet and online freedom of expression should be guaranteed.

The motion led by Sweden was supported by countries including America, Brazil and Tunisia.

It follows the Arab Spring, and Tunisia’s envoy said that the Internet played a vital role in mobilising people during this time, explaining: “The most important result of the Tunisian revolution is this right to freedom of expression.”

US ambassador Eileen Donahoe told reporters: “It’s the first ever U.N. resolution affirming that human rights in the digital realm must be protected and promoted to the same extent and with the same commitment as human rights in the physical world.”

In total, the council comprised 47 members including representatives from China and Cuba – countries which have both been criticized in the past for media censorship.

Reuters reports that Cuba argued the motion didn’t address the lack of access to information technology online.  Diplomat Juan Antonio Quintanilla is said to have voiced concerns over Internet governance, taking a swing at the US and claiming: “We all know that this tool is controlled by a single country globally, and this is something which hampers free access to this very important tool.”

(http://www.digitalspy.com/)

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