The internet has evolved fully from a luxury to a basic human right, at least according to the United Nations. The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a non-binding resolution that condemns countries that intentionally disrupt its citizens internet access, which further reaffirms their stance that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression.”
Naturally the resolution was opposed by several authoritarian regimes that have sought to limit internet access in the past, which includes Russia, China, South Africa and India. Their major beef is the phrase “condemns unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to our dissemination of information online,” which the dissenting states has done in the past.
Limiting internet access to control the population isn’t new: China has their infamous Great Firewall which does not allow certain social networks to work like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Several other countries, like Bahrain and India has shut off internet access after a slew of protests against the government.
So what does this mean? The UN can’t enforce resolutions legally, so it’s more of a guideline if anything else. Even then it’s awesome to see that the UN has recognized the impact of having access to internet. Maybe next time the UN can pass a resolution that limiting speeds is a crime against humanity? One can only hope.