The world says “net is a human right”
Four in five adults worldwide think internet access should be a fundamental human right.
Greater freedom of speech, access to learning and the more varied forms of networking and communication were cited as reasons for the internet’s importance by the BBC-commissioned poll.
Citizens from South Korea, Mexico, China and Brazil felt most overwhelmingly that net access should be a right of all people, although countries were split over whether the service should be government-controlled, with 53% of global respondents agreeing that “the internet should never be regulated by any level of government anywhere”.
The survey also provided some surprising results when it came to freedom of speech. Citizens in France, Germany, the US and other western countries were found to be less keen on airing their opinions online than those China, Egypt and other countries with questionable civil liberties records. Nearly half of UK respondents disagreed that the internet was a safe place to air their views.
The results were drawn from 26 countries, where officials interviewed internet-users and non-users in urban and rural areas either face-to-face or via telephone. The survey was commissioned for a new BBC series called Superpower, which explores the growth of the internet.