(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – With online censorship and government surveillance on the rise, the World Wide Web Foundation says Internet access should be a human right, not a privilege.
In the Foundations annual web index report, findings suggest that 84 percent of countries do not have effective laws to protect Internet users from surveillance, whereas 74 percent either have no clear or effective net neutrality laws or have traffic discrimination.
Around 4.4 billion people worldwide do not have Internet access, though most are in developing countries, Mashable reports.
“It’s time to recognize the Internet as a basic human right,” said founder of the web, Tim Berners-Lee. “That means guaranteeing affordable access for all, ensuring Internet packets are delivered without commercial or political discrimination, and protecting the privacy and freedom of Web users regardless of where they live.”
The report also says that the top five countries with the most universal access and freedom of the Internet are Denmark, Finland, Norway, UK, and Sweden.
Other statistics include:
- 62% of countries attribute the Web to sparking major political of social controversies
- 74% of countries are not doing enough to stop online violence against women
Tim Berners-Lee, named one of the 100 greatest minds in the 20th century, created the World Wide Web in 1989 and was knighted in 2004 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his development of the Internet.