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Internet access should be a human right.

(PRO)
0 points
(CON)
WINNER!
5 points
9spaceking9spaceking (PRO)
INTRODUCTION
I have never ever used this layout method of debating before. Nevertheless, we should all try something new at times, no?
The internet has helped us oh so much. The website, http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm, helps us get an idea of how important the internet is and how popular it is. Here are some basic facts from that website (Statistics from December 31, 2013):

WORLD TOTAL



WATCH OUT, HERE COMES MY WEIRD LAYOUT!!

The internet is very important in our world: Argument introduction

 To the right lists some very basic important (generalized)

uses of the internet that I will elaborate in later rounds. This outlines my later argument as I plan for right now. I might change it later if I find more information online.


THE DEFINITION OF "INTERNET ACCESS"





THE BURDEN OF PROOF













CONCLUSION

7,181,858,619 POPULATION; 











-Helps government














The definition of "internet access" is very debatable. Does it mean Wifi?




Now who has the Burden of Proof in this debate?

 For once it is not entirely on pro. Although I do technically have more burden to prove that internet access should be a human right...



This will certainly be an interesting debate. I'll try not to use this layout for the further rounds, it's hard to set-up and read.

360,985,492

INTERNET USERS,   











-Helps the people in many ways













Or does it mean giving access just to a computer?






My opponent also has the burden to prove that humans don't have to right--or don't need the right--for internet access.







But without further ado, I hand the debate over to my opponent, who will accept, ask for definitions, and clarify, as the debate rules say.

2,802,478,934

of INTERNET USERS' LATEST DATA,

 








-Helps society














It is up to interpretation.






Therefore....

39.0 %OF THE POPULATION USING THE INTERNET,










-Helps THE WORLD.










But what is NOT up to interpretation...

 is Wikipedia's official definition of "Internet access", copied on the right.




It can be concluded that the resolution is more or less normaltive, with such a shared BoP.








Good luck...

676.3 % GROWTH SINCE 2000, and 100.0 %USERS OF TABLE
























"Internet access connects ...computer networks to the Internet, enabling users to access

 Internet services, such as email and the World Wide Web."

Therefore we can conclude that internet access is more or less synonymous to Wifi.

[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_access]















And have fun.



Return To Top | Posted:
2014-10-26 23:57:02
| Speak Round
DebatingMasterDebatingMaster (CON)
Introduction
This will be a very interesting debate. I will be arguing against that 'Internet access should be a human right'. I will provide my arguments in the next round.

Definitions

Internet: The global network connecting computers. We all know what it is. [1].
Internet Access: Access, and ability to interact, with the internet. It does include wifi, as long one is able to access and interact with wifi-provided internet.
Human Rights: The fundamental rights by being a human, such as rights to life, rights which cannot be removed or created by government. [2].

[1] www.webopedia.com/TERM/I/Internet.html
[2] www.businessdictionary.com/definition/human-rights.html

Looking forward to a good debate!

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-10-28 06:52:57
| Speak Round
9spaceking9spaceking (PRO)


As I outlined in the previous round, the internet helps THE WORLD, generally speaking, in many ways.

For the government, they have databases to keep records of criminals, or terrorism attacks, and access them easily. Plus, they can communicate quickly over the internet and be able to tell each other information about their plans.

As for the people, this is obvious. They can access much information and learn the recent news very well on the internet. They can even debate online, or for people who are bored, there are games out there for them to play. People can also communicate with each other, and even if they are separated physically by thousands of miles, they can still easily "talk" to each other.

The society can release news, as obviously. They can also have community webpages so that you know their updates and can contact them without meeting them face to face.

It must be noted that, as this website shows: http://www.thewire.com/technology/2011/06/united-nations-wikileaks-internet-human-rights/38526/, The internet access is already recognized as a human right by the United Nations. What right is it? The right to express. You see, whether accessing databases, viewing or posting comments to blog, communicating to each other, the internet is indeed basically a vast, easier version of expression.

The right to express oneself is outright stated in the Bill of Rights. [source: https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/your-right-free-expression]

Therefore it is easily concluded, that, the internet is not only incredibly helpful, but it also helps us express ourselves, one of our basic rights.

Onto you, DebatingMaster.


Return To Top | Posted:
2014-10-28 19:20:28
| Speak Round
DebatingMasterDebatingMaster (CON)
-The bar for a right is pretty high-

Rebuttals

As I outlined in the previous round, the internet helps THE WORLD, generally speaking, in many ways.

For  the government, they have databases to keep records of criminals, or  terrorism attacks, and access them easily. Plus, they can communicate  quickly over the internet and be able to tell each other information  about their plans.

That isn't what a right is. A right is something that everyone should have, not just governments. Of course the government needs to have access to the internet (which, they pay for).

As  for the people, this is obvious. They can access much information and  learn the recent news very well on the internet. They can even debate  online, or for people who are bored, there are games out there for them  to play. People can also communicate with each other, and even if they  are separated physically by thousands of miles, they can still easily  "talk" to each other.

That  would be classified more as entertainment, or something non-vital. For  something to be a fundamental right, it has to be pretty bad without it.  Games, news, or even chatter via internet wouldn't be comparable to other rights.   For example, is there a right against boredom? Besides, wouldn't a mobile phone be a better alternative as a right based on communication?

The  society can release news, as obviously. They can also have community  webpages so that you know their updates and can contact them without  meeting them face to face.

News is also something (mostly) for entertainment. Even when it is important, it is still not comparable to other rights at all.

It must be noted that, as this website shows: http://www.thewire.com/technology/2011/06/united-nations-wikileaks-internet-human-rights/38526/,  The internet access is already recognized as a human right by the  United Nations. What right is it? The right to express. You see, whether  accessing databases, viewing or posting comments to blog, communicating  to each other, the internet is indeed basically a vast, easier version  of expression.

You may express your views in any way, however, the ways to express should not need to be provided to you. For example, you can obviously talk face to face (without limitation), but would it become a right to provide everyone with every way possible to express? Just because we have the right to express doesn't mean we should gain access to every means to express. It is just that our expression should not be restricted.

The right to express oneself is outright stated in the Bill of Rights. [source: https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/your-right-free-expression]

Therefore  it is easily concluded, that, the internet is not only incredibly  helpful, but it also helps us express ourselves, one of our basic  rights.

Onto you, DebatingMaster.


Arguments

What you're doing is lowering the bar of a right. What a right is the the basic of the most basic things humans need. Internet is a luxury - it is not necessary at all for human survival/basic fundamental rights.

However useful the internet may seem for us - it is not the basic of the basic rights. Paper is useful too, but what tells us that paper access should be a right?

Example of rights we agree on:

Life

Freedom of speech

Freedom from torture

etc. These protect you from unnecessary harm.

If I asked you - would you prefer to have the right of life and freedom from torture - or access to internet? The answer is obvious. These things are incomparable to access to internet. What does the internet provide? Communication, and news for the most part. Communication does not have to be done via internet. Could you tell me one time where if you missed one internet article of news it would cause you direct harm? Even if you could name one, if the right to life weren't there, you could imagine what would happen. Turmoil everywhere.

As you can see, the internet is a method of advanced communication/recreation which is not necessary at all, as a basic, basic, right. As helpful as it may be, it is not necessary.


Return To Top | Posted:
2014-11-02 11:15:01
| Speak Round
9spaceking9spaceking (PRO)
Could you tell me one time where if you missed one internet article of news it would cause you direct harm?
If there was an immediate earthquake coming or some tornado going to swipe your way, certainly you would need to go online to see the news/report that they are coming. 

It is just that our expression should not be restricted.
Exactly, so why restrict internet expression? Let us express ourselves on the internet freely. Let us have the right to internet access.

http://occidentalweekly.com/opinions/2013/03/05/21st-century-high-speed-internet-a-necessity-not-a-luxury/
The source above clearly complain about bad internet speed. Imagine how much complaint the article would give if people couldn't access the internet at all! It would be a disaster! Nowadays within not only school, but also in work, assignments have to be done on the internet. Without the internet, students would get terrible grades, fail their classes, and many people would lose their jobs. We need the internet; it has to be a human right.

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-11-02 13:14:22
| Speak Round
DebatingMasterDebatingMaster (CON)
Rebuttal
Could you tell me one time where if you missed one internet article of news it would cause you direct harm?
If there was an immediate earthquake coming or some tornado going to swipe your way, certainly you would need to go online to see the news/report that they are coming.
Sure, but if a event that big were going to be happen, then it would be everywhere: for example, radio. Internet, would only be one, of many ways to access news.
It is just that our expression should not be restricted.
Exactly, so why restrict internet expression? Let us express ourselves on the internet freely. Let us have the right to internet access.
http://occidentalweekly.com/opinions/2013/03/05/21st-century-high-speed-internet-a-necessity-not-a-luxury/
I have already explained that people don't need internet access provided to them: I do agree internet expression should not be restricted (as in, not allow, to people who can otherwise access), and that is NOT the same as people should be provided internet (right). Put simply, I have 10 people, 5 have internet access and 5 don't. Now, what I don't support is cutting down internet access for those 5 who already have internet access, but, I do not support having a right so that the 5 people without internet access have access placed right in front of them, to everyone.
The source above clearly complain about bad internet speed. Imagine how much complaint the article would give if people couldn't access the internet at all! It would be a disaster! Nowadays within not only school, but also in work, assignments have to be done on the internet. Without the internet, students would get terrible grades, fail their classes, and many people would lose their jobs. We need the internet; it has to be a human right.
Assignments need to be done on the internet: now tell me why it is so detrimental for assignments to be done on paper? And now, compare that to the right of life. Just because internet may be of a benefit doesn't mean its one of those fundamental things, a luxury car is a benefit so now let's make it a right? Besides, right now you're arguing the internet should exist, and that's off topic. Of course it should exist. But that doesn't mean it should become a right. Also, buisnesses that need computers need to buy them themselves, and provide it to the employees for appropriate use.

Arguments
There are millions of things that need dealing with, and are more important than internet access. You'd see lack of water, lack of food, lack of sanitation and much more at the top of the list, and nowhere would you find lack of internet access. Before we decide to add internet to our rights and start creating billions of computers, spare a thought to those people malnourished, our have a lack of water. What use does a luxury internet and a device to access it have any use to them? What they really need is water, food. There are 900 million people chronicly undernourished [1], a similar number of people lack sufficient water access, and what's worse, millions die from that [2].

Also, sanitation does even worse. A third of the world doesn't have adequate santiation [3] All of this shows just how many people lack the most basic things. I have a question for you: is the internet so important that people die without it at a million rate? Or that you believe that the internet access should be rolled out and billions spent on it while other far more important issues are left unresolved?

Our money would be spent far better on cheaper, clean water, sanitation, and food for those lacking it than internet access becoming a fundamental right, and providing global internet access (and something to access it) for all people.

[1] http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm
[2] http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/water/
[3] http://www.unicef.org/wash/

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-11-06 11:25:52
| Speak Round
9spaceking9spaceking (PRO)
"Internet, would only be one, of many ways to access news."
Still, the most justified option for a government would to allow as many ways for people to get the news, no?

"But that doesn't mean it should become a right."
If the internet should exist and is helpful, then why should we not make it a right?

My opponent opens up special pleading cases about different, more "important" topics, as he says. Of course these take priority over internet access. It still doesn't stop the argument that at least it SHOULD be a human right. Even if it can't be right now, eventually, in the far future, when almost everyone lives with the basic food rights, and the death rate is maybe only 100 or so per year from starvation and thirst, then internet access will be ideal and it will succeed.

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-11-06 20:04:39
| Speak Round
DebatingMasterDebatingMaster (CON)
Rebuttal
"Internet, would only be one, of many ways to access news."Still, the most justified option for a government would to allow as many ways for people to get the news, no?
Why would the government need to allow as many ways as possible when 1 way covers all important happenings? Why not spend that money on other more important things (addressed R3)? 

"But that doesn't mean it should become a right."If the internet should exist and is helpful, then why should we not make it a right?
I have already explained to you 2 times, I will repeat: air conditioning and heating and luxury cars should exist, and are helpful, but there is a reason they aren't rights.
My opponent opens up special pleading cases about different, more
"important" topics, as he says. Of course these take priority over
internet access. It still doesn't stop the argument that at least it
SHOULD be a human right. Even if it can't be right now, eventually, in
the far future, when almost everyone lives with the basic food rights,
and the death rate is maybe only 100 or so per year from starvation and
thirst, then internet access will be ideal and it will succeed.
Firstly, my opponent has agreed that:
those (water, food etc.) issues are more important than lack of internet

Now, those (water, food, etc.) issues need dealing first and should be dealt with (agreed). Internet access,  while beneficial, should not be a right and is not par to the issues aforementioned. Saying that internet access may not be able become a right now refutes your own point the internet access should become a right.  If I should do something, that means there is an obligation or duty for me to do it [1]. If something should be come a human right, it is correct to become a human right. And if something is correct, it should be done NOW  (unless specified otherwise). Something that is impossible is thus not 'correct'. For example, magically expanding the Earth to solve overpopulation is not possible, and so I wouldn't say it should be done, or is correct. [1] Besides, how can you even tell that malnutrition etc will be gone? Due to overpopulation, it might even worsen!

Basically I can sum up my opponents arguments which consists of two parts:
Internet access is beneficial.
Something that is beneficial should be a right (clearly refuted).

Arguments
Cost - the cost of providing internet access to everyone (actual connection + medium to access it). Let's first calculate the cost of the actual connection. A extremely cheap cost of internet access, and is unarguable, is $100 per person, a year. The figures are more around $2000 a year. We've got 7 billion people, so that's 700 billion dollars a year! And with the cheapest medium to access this connection, at $50 a person (unarguable), that would be 350 billion dollars! Those substantial sums would obviously be better spent on other, more important, issues. That much spent, when alternatives that are reliable (such as radio) are available.

Abuse- The moment you put internet access as a right - free for all, abuse happens everywhere. Since you can't be kicked out of the internet, you, literally can do anything you want to do. ISPs have nothing to do to prevent that - they cannot kick you out of the connection. Mass (and sometimes illegal) downloads happen everywhere, some just trolls uploading and downloading huge terabyte files on many computers to give others a connectivity issue, and waste even more money. Prisoners have the function to use the internet to plan with other prisoners, and outsiders, an attack, and other disasters. And prisoners planning an escape attack can't be punished (or even their connection cut) - because the internet would be a right - and it's fundamental - so it can't be removed. Chaos, mass chaos would occur.

Internet being a right would not only remove emphasis on other more important issues, waste money, create massive chaos and abuse, but also devalue what is a human right.

[1] https://www.google.com.au/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=define+should&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=kVZcVIL2IMmN8QeyzICoAw

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-11-08 10:16:48
| Speak Round
9spaceking9spaceking (PRO)
Even if we have internet access as a right, that doesn't mean we have to buy computers for everyone. We can just make sure they have access to a computer--maybe through a common computer hub center within each city. It's not like everyone will be able to go on a computer at the same time. That way, we can efficiently make sure people have rights to internet access while still being cost efficient.
Return To Top | Posted:
2014-11-08 14:52:26
| Speak Round
DebatingMasterDebatingMaster (CON)
Rebuttal
Even if we have internet access as a right, that doesn't mean we have to
buy computers for everyone. We can just make sure they have access to a
computer--maybe through a common computer hub center within each city.
As a right, everyone needs to be able to access the internet at any time. The hub has significant problems fulfilling that. Firstly, some people may hog the computers all day long, preventing others from getting on the computers (the people who hog the computers cannot be kicked off due to internet access being a right). Secondly, you'd need to provide everyone access to the hub, for access to the internet. If they cannot manage to get to the hub, and no help is given, that is the same as denying them internet access, violating the right. So you'd need to fund taxis, give out train passes, and much more. That also includes releasing prisoners. Thirdly, the hub needs to have it's operation continued at night (to ensure internet access at any time). And any sort of transport to the hub needs to be continued at night too. Besides, how many computers would you need per hub? 1 per person, if everyone comes on at the same time (which you need to assume). What a waste of money. Any other guaranteed access to the internet for each person would involve buying one computer for a person.

 It's not like everyone will be able to go on a computer at the same
time. That way, we can efficiently make sure people have rights to
internet access while still being cost efficient.
As a right, everyone NEEDS to be able to go on at any time they wish. If they can't, that's a violation of a right.

Conclusion

Internet access is not comparable to other rights. The vital freedoms, such as freedom of speech, are incomparable to the right to internet access, in terms of importance. A simple which would you rather would tell you which ones are important. Would you want your freedom of speech restricted, or have no internet access? The answer is obvious.

There are millions of things that are more important and need dealing with such as water, food or sanitation. Wasting lots of dollars on internet access is just silly - important issues are left undealt with, even though there is apparently enough money to fund internet access. Simply, it is not possible to properly implement internet as a right without problems, and so the $$$ get wasted! So, with so much money being spent, would you rather get nothing (the unsuccessful implementation of the internet as a right), or food, water, and proper sanitation? The answer is simple.

A internet access right will cost billions of dollars a year. You know the cost it takes to access the internet. $2000 dollars a year? However, I'll take it down to $100 a year - the cheapest accessible. And $50 for a medium to access. Times that by 7 billion (people). That equals $1t for the first year, and $700b for every subsequent year. That much money wasted on internet access, rather than the basics.

A internet access right would suffer from mass abuse the moment it is implemented. Since you can do anything you want on the internet - and cannot be kicked out, there is a lot of disturbance that can be caused. It includes trolling, disrupting other people's connections, prisoners using the internet to plan escape attacks (sometimes encrypted) and much more. You never know the limits of the abuse possible.

Pro has not provided a conclusion as stated in the rules.

Thanks for the debate!

Vote Con!

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-11-09 08:45:29
| Speak Round


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9spaceking9spaceking
dangit....I feel like I'm on the losing side of this topic
Posted 2014-11-06 20:05:15
9spaceking9spaceking
dangit....I feel like I'm on the losing side of this topic
Posted 2014-11-06 20:05:04
nzlockienzlockie
Oh man that first round hurts to look at. To be fair, Spaceman you might need to restate some of that data if it is important. I can't follow that at all.
Posted 2014-10-29 04:42:44
9spaceking9spaceking
because the chart-style wouldn't budge, so I just went along with it
Posted 2014-10-27 18:38:29
adminadmin
Why DID you use that format?
Posted 2014-10-27 07:22:09
9spaceking9spaceking
lol, "traveling upward"
Posted 2014-10-27 00:18:22
BlackflagBlackflag
I like the format if it weren't for the paragraphs travelling upward
Posted 2014-10-27 00:17:09
9spaceking9spaceking
I'm surprised my round one didn't break the system.
Posted 2014-10-26 23:57:34
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2014-11-12 00:30:52
whiteflameJudge: whiteflame    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: DebatingMaster
Reasoning:
From the outset, Pro sets up a position that he never firmly defends. This debate is fundamentally about what is and is not a human right, and whether Internet access deserves to be admitted to what is. Pro doesn't spend much time arguing that. He spends most of his argument discussing the benefits of the Internet, but not relating those benefits to a human right. One can easily see how it would be beneficial for the Internet to be broadly available to everyone, but the resolution is not “Everyone should have Internet access,” and so much of these points are tangential to the debate.

I have a hard time seeing the connection being made here, and Con makes that blatantly clear to me throughout the debate. He gives me a definition, relates it to things both sides accept are human rights, and then challenges Pro to meet that definition. Pro simply never rises to the challenge. He continues to tell the same story about how good the Internet is without ever framing those benefits in the context of a basic human right. Con is very clear in how he views a human right – as a basic necessity for life – and yet I don't see a response to that. So when Pro admits that these issues are more important, he essentially concedes the debate. Con is telling me that these rights are making a very blatant threshold for what is and is not a human right, and without contesting that threshold, I'm forced to fully accept that that threshold is entirely reasonable. Maybe the Internet is something that people should have, but if it doesn't meet the threshold of a human right, then that ends the debate.

Much of Con's argumentation beyond this is just gravy, as the decision is made mainly based on Pro's inability to meet the resolution.

Feedback:
9spaceking – Know your resolution, and evaluate your burden before you go into a debate like this. If your opponent challenges your burden, as Con did here, be prepared to argue that your burden is different from what he says. I actually would have bought that the definition that he was giving was far too narrow if you had argued it well enough.

Beyond that, really take the time to explain the advantages of the Internet on a deeper level. Much of what I see here are just claims without any solid warrants or real impacts. For example, what does it mean to allow communication over very large distances in an instant? Why is that a necessary aspect of our lives? Why is access to the news the most important thing in a dynamic society? I'm surprised I didn't see any discussion on what access to information in general means to societies – essentially, the poor get limited or no access, while the rich get plenty. An argument could be made that it entrenches classism, and blocks the capacity of education to bring people out of poverty.

Lastly, note that simply saying that the UN views it as a human right doesn't make it a human right. You've got to go through and determine why the UN views it that way so that we can all appreciate it. Without that explanation, all I get here is an appeal to authority.

DebatingMaster – You hit the right points on the definition. I would have liked to have seen some of your offense earlier in the debate – it really only starts appearing in R3, and it should make an appearance early and often. With regards to those arguments, I'll give you some feedback on how well they would have worked.

You start by mentioning costs, stating that there are alternate uses. Pro could have easily rebutted this by pointing out that the debate is about whether it should be inducted as a human right, not how it should be implemented. I get that its induction means that there is some onus on the international community to then afford them access to that right, just as there is for food and water, but it's a secondary issue, and one that Pro could have gotten around if he had understood where his burdens lay.

The abuse argument is intriguing, but again, focuses strongly on implementation. It's more basic, in that it showcases a flaw in a very vague case from Pro and something much more fundamental to the discussion of extended access than just dollars and cents, but it could have been similarly dismissed as irrelevant to a discussion of what should and should not be a human right, at least for the most part. There is the deeper argument that taking away any Internet rights anywhere would be viewed as a very large crime and that, therefore, there would be a number of issues that legal systems would simply be unable to address. That probably needed to be better fleshed out, but it's a good start.
2 users rated this judgement as constructive
0 comments on this judgement
2014-11-14 07:38:10
adminJudge: admin    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: DebatingMaster

Rules of the debate

  • Text debate
  • Individual debate
  • 5 rounds
  • 8000 characters per round
  • No reply speeches
  • No cross-examination
  • Community Judging Standard (notes)
  • Forfeiting rounds means forfeiting the debate
  • Images allowed
  • HTML formatting allowed
  • Unrated debate
  • Time to post: 5 days
  • Time to vote: 2 weeks
  • Time to prepare: None
Round 1: Introduction & Definition & Clarification & Acceptance
Round 2-4: Arguments & Rebuttals
Round 5: Conclusion & Rebuttals