U.N. Declares Internet Access a Human Right

The U.N. made a monumental announcement this month, when they condemned Internet shutdowns to stand for human rights online.

The non-binding resolution was unanimous, with leaders from across the world protesting these shutdowns and preserving Internet freedom. They encouraged governments far and wide to stop and think before ordering mass Internet shutdowns and enacting barriers that halt citizen access to crucial information online. Access Now’s Senior Global Advocacy Manager, Deji Olukotun, spoke out on the victory: “This resolution marks a major milestone in the fight against internet shutdowns. The international community has listened to the voices of civil society — many of whom have suffered under shutdowns themselves — and laudably pushed back on this pernicious practice.”

This recent resolution by the U.N. comes on the heels of recent Internet shutdowns in Turkey, and social media shutdowns in several nations in Africa.

Although most are in support of the U.N.’s decision to acknowledge Internet access as a human right, five countries (Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and India) opposed the resolution. Some of these countries stated that Internet blockages are sometimes necessary in order to combat terror and extremist views from spreading online. Despite this, the U.N. is not backing down. The U.N. is not an enforcement body, and cannot actively force countries to abide by certain rules or regulations. However, there is power in numbers, and this strong push for human rights online will hopefully make governments think twice before enacting mass Internet outages.

Golden Frog has always stood for Internet freedom, and we believe this resolution is a victory. We hope this recent decision by the U.N. will help spread awareness of Internet outages and the threat they are to basic human rights. Learn more about how you can defend your Internet freedom by downloading VyprVPN today.