Book Chapter

Is There a Right to Internet Access?



Cruft R (2021) Is There a Right to Internet Access?. In: Véliz C (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. C4.S1-C4.N27.

This chapter asks whether the ideas of ‘rights’ and ‘human rights’ are useful concepts for getting to grips with moral questions about internet access. The values served by internet access—democratic participation, freedom of speech, privacy, the welfare state—are often understood in terms of rights, but they are also often taken more communally, as morally grounded fundamentally by their role in constituting an open society that serves us all collectively. Rights approaches highlight the individual right-holder as a party who is ‘wronged’ when a duty is violated. This chapter defends a rights-based approach to moral questions about internet access, and explores the practical implications of this approach for policy and law.

human rights; rights; human rights law; netizens; public sphere; internet access

FundersAHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Publication date31/12/2021
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationOxford

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Professor Rowan Cruft

Professor Rowan Cruft

Professor, Philosophy

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