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Internet Access As A Human Right?
A survey carried out by the BBC found a majority of people around the world believe internet access should be a basic human right. We suspect a bit of statistical rigging because the majority of people in the world live below the poverty line and probably have more urgent priorities than surfing the net.

Internet Access As A Human Right
by Ian R Thorpe
2010-03-08
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: internet, human rights, right, technology, computer, phone, dongle, laptop, tyranny, humour, humor, satire

Internet Access A Human Right?

We are astounded that a survey carried out for the BBC has found a majority of people in the world think Internet Access should be a basic human right. Not astounded by the result by astounded by the stupidity of the idea. What kind of loaded questions have to be asked to produce a result like that?

Questions like this one perhaps: "Do you think internet access should be a basic human right or shall we pull out your fingernails, smash your teeth and have you extraordinarily renditioned to Guantanamo Bay or a similar rehabilitation facility where you will be taught that you must not provide the wrong answer to questions asked by the Politically Correct Thought Police?"

The stupidity of this survey can be compared to the stupidity illustrated in the scene from Monty Python'' Life Of Brian when the Judean People's Front vote a man who wants to be a woman and have babies the right to have babies.

The BBC survey was carried out by asking a sample of 27,000 people, all of what could be described as educated middle class status around the world if Internet Access should be a human right. So that's a majority of 27,000 affluent middle class people then, not a majority of 6.7 billion people most of whom live on less than $20 a week and do not have access to adequate supplies of food and uncontaminated water.

Right so.

Boggart Blog decided to do a bit of surveying of our own, Boggarts being creatures of the nether world are able to get inside people's heads and ask the important questions. First we asked people living under tyrannical authoritarian regimes if they though internet access was a basic human right.

They unanimously told us they considered as more important the right to go to sleep at night without the fear that before morning the secret police would break down the door and drag the whole family away to be tortured and imprisoned for unspecified offences. Apart from that they did not consider internet access a priority as few could afford computers or phone lines, the technology necessasary to access the net.

Next we approached some Australian Aborigninals. They told us internet access from the Abo. point of view was irrelevant. The most important human right for them, and the one nobody is prepared to discuss is the right to tell meddlesome, poke nose western do-gooders to fuck off and let the Abos live the way they have since the dream time.

When we interviewed a Mumbai slumdog he first exercises his human right to not talk to us until we had given him some money. Once he had been paid he told us the right to live in a house with a proper roof, floor and at least three walls would be nice.

When we visited the fishermen of a West African tribe and asked if they would like the right to internet access they became very angry. "Our tribe has always made good nets that catch many fish," they told us, "The problem is the big ships come and suck up all the fish even in the breeding grounds. Now our people are hungry because there are no fish.

Realising our approach of asking people who had never heard of The Internet if they thought being given the right to access it was getting nowhere we tried a different approach. Laptops and satphone dongles were given to the elders of an Amazonian tribe. When we visited a month later to see how things were going we found all the laptops in a new shrine that had been built to the piano playing kitten god.

Finally we tried the same approach with some Kalahari bushmen. They killed the laptops fearing the machines housed evil spirits but the USB dongles were distributed among the tribe. Because the dongles are a similar size to locusts and had hard shells the Bushmen ate them thinking they were snacks.

Our survey shows that we in the west are still too arrogant to understand that we cannot impose our ways and values on people of a different culture and mindset. If we want to help we must first learn of the peoples' way of life, social traditions and circumstances.

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