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Internet as legal right?

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Is this a good law? What's the objectivist view on such legislation please?

Finland has become the first country in the world to make broadband a legal right for every citizen.

From 1 July every Finn will have the right to access to a 1Mbps (megabit per second) broadband connection. Finland has vowed to connect everyone to a 100Mbps connection by 2015. In the UK the government has promised a minimum connection of at least 2Mbps to all homes by 2012 but has stopped short of enshrining this as a right in law. The Finnish deal means that from 1 July all telecommunications companies will be obliged to provide all residents with broadband lines that can run at a minimum 1Mbps speed.

Broadband commitment

Speaking to the BBC, Finland's communication minister Suvi Linden explained the thinking behind the legislation: "We considered the role of the internet in Finns everyday life. Internet services are no longer just for entertainment. "Finland has worked hard to develop an information society and a couple of years ago we realised not everyone had access," she said. It is believed up to 96% of the population are already online and that only about 4,000 homes still need connecting to comply with the law. In the UK internet penetration stands at 73%. The British government has agreed to provide everyone with a minimum 2Mbps broadband connection by 2012 but it is a commitment rather than a legally binding ruling. "The UK has a universal service obligation which means virtually all communities will have broadband," said a spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Making broadband a legal right could have implications for countries that plan tough action on illegal file-sharing. Both the UK and France have said they may cut off or limit the internet connections of people who persistently download music or films for free. The Finnish government has adopted a more gentle approach. "We will have a policy where operators will send letters to illegal file-sharers but we are not planning on cutting off access," said Ms Linden. A poll conducted for the BBC World Service earlier this year found that almost four in five people around the world believed that access to the internet is a fundamental right.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10461048.stm

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"Is this a good law?"

No. Not at all. Rights are not obligations other people have to give you stuff. If you aren't familiar with it yet, here's more about the source, nature, and purpose of rights in the entry about rights on the Ayn Rand Lexicon: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/individual_rights.html

Edited by bluecherry
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I'm pretty dumb on Internet issues; I mean, who 'owns' the Internet?

What I am certain about is that what the State can give, the State can take away.

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Objectively the answer is NO, this is NOT a proper use of the law.

The question Rand would have, and did pose in the "Virtue of Selfishness", is "At whose expense?"

Who is paying for this law? Is every single one of those people who are paying for it doing it voluntarily, or are some of them doing it simple because the Government has legally disarmed them, and then used the threat of prosecution (effectively, a Gun) to any who would otherwise have refused to partake?

I'm fairly certain the answer is that the Government, in this case, will be funding this new law with the payment (taxes) of persons who would, if not for the Governments power (threat of force), chosen not to partake. Thus this law is actually a breach of the fundamental rights of humanity.

And that Broadband internet is a "right" is ridiculous. What next, everyone has "the right to eat and pay for everyone else to eat chocolate pudding... Even those who don't like it."

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I'm pretty dumb on Internet issues; I mean, who 'owns' the Internet?

Fortunately, there isn't any person or government who simply "owns" the Internet, since it is made up of millions of pieces of hardware and equipment such as routers, modems, fiber optics cables, etc. To own the Internet would essentially be to regulate it to the extent that no private company or person can own the equipment required to communicate with other computers across the world.

Edited by Eiuol
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Here's part of what this means. In the US, if you buy a piece of land, you can build a house on it if you want. (Of course there may be environmental and "code" restrictions making it effectively impossible to build if you have the wrong piece of property -- as our family discovered, by buying land that was not deep enough to satisfy the "distance from the river" and "distance from the road" regulations). This imposes a substantial burden on telecom companies (also the electric company and the water company), because if you build a house at 69.69°, 28.05° which is out in BFE, well, BFF, these companies have to set up infrastructure across about 30 miles of untamed territory. That's crazy, so what's the solution? The solution is that you have to have permission from the government to build a home, and such permission will not be forthcoming if it would give you a right to impose excessively on society. There simply is no option to waive your "right" to these entitlements.

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I highly recommend Ray Niles's article in The Objective Standard on Net Neutrality, which includes an examination of "who owns the Internet". It's available for free here:

http://www.theobject...-neutrality.asp

Very enlightening, and simply explained; thanks.

"We must undo the relatively few controls on the Internet, repudiate net neutrality, and keep the government's stupid hands off this brilliant private property."

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