Plenary panel: « Web as a human right? »
Thursday April 19th 11:00am – 12:30pm

Panelists :

  • Neelie Kroes
    Vice President of the European Commission and European Digital Agenda Commissioner.
  • Tim Berners-Lee
    Inventor of the World Wide Web and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
  • Gilles Babinet
    Chairman of the Conseil National du Numérique (National Digital Council) in France

Moderator :

Keywords :
#democracy, #free access to services, #accessibility, #freedom of expression, #freedom of impression, #regulation, #censorship, #control, #copyright, #ACTA, #HADOPI, #SOPA

Should the Internet access be considered as a human right ?

  • The internet is a fundamental right.
    This opinion is shared by almost four in five people around the world according to a 2010 poll for the BBC World Service. The survey – of more than 27,000 adults across 26 countries – found strong support for net access on both sides of the digital divide.
  • Finland and Estonia have first ruled that internet access is a right for their citizens.
  • There is a link between internet connectivity and democratic achievement.
    RAND researchers have shown that, controlling for economic development, the level of Internet connectivity is a strong predictor of levels of democratic attainment (Kedzie 1997).
  • Vinton Cerf:
    “technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself”


  • Internet: only a tool or more than that ?
  • How do you conciliate the need for protection (for kids, for copyright owners, etc) and the need for freedom ?
  • Can democracy deepen without a free internet ?
  • Is internet access a human right ?