I have always seen the Internet as a free space. One where you can be all you want and do all you want.
My believe of the Internet’s freedom is underscored by the virtual absence of any regulatory body besides ICANN and the regional NICs regulating the assignments of public IP addresses and domain names – and even these statutory agencies and bodies do not necessarily have daily contacts with the vast majority of the internet populace like the government of a country will normally have with its people.
In the past, I have expressed a fear that the Internet has brought with it new challenges – like people infringing on others privacy with much more ease than ever before – but today whilst my fear remains, there is a new dimension to it. Governments (and their allies in the form of corporations) are increasingly tampering with the ‘free space’ and in so doing not only infringing on their citizen’s privacy, but also blatantly abusing their fundamental rights to associate and speak freely online (and in most cases having already put in place repressive laws/techniques to ensure they are unable to gather and speak freely in the physical world, thus shutting up their citizenry, whilst they rule with impunity).
To those of us less concerned about this threat, perhaps because there is currently little or no interference on the ‘freedom of the internet’ in the part of the world we live in, it should be noted that if the trend continues and eventually gets mainstreamed, we all stand the risk of loosing that space and with it some of fundamental rights to freedom.
Thus the need for us to join in the call for Net Neutrality.
If human dignity as entrenched in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not to be abused, there is need to continually keep the internet free and access to it a fundamental human right!
See Freedom House’s report on repressive techniques employed by dissident nations and their allies in suppressing access to the internet below: