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    Finland says the Internet is a “right”

    Date: 11.09.09 | by Judge Tom.

    The Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution is over 200 years old (enacted in 1791).  Over this period, state and federal courts have wrestled with the scope and meaning of the first ten Amendments.

    InternetRobby-T

    robby-T (Flickr)

    If they were being drafted today, would they include any reference to the Internet  or e-communications? Some countries feel strongly about broadband access for everyone. France has declared Internet access to be a ‘human right.’

    Now, Finland has taken it a step further. In July, 2010, Internet access becomes a ‘legal right’ for all Finns. The government’s Ministry of Transport and Communication has further pledged to expand the legal right to greater broadband speed by 2015.

    In 2009, the country of Uruguay became the first Latin American country to provide all students in public elementary school a laptop. The government plans to expand the One Laptop Per Child program to kindergarten and high school students. Other countries onboard to reduce the gap between the digital world and the world of knowledge include Peru, Columbia, India and Rwanda.

    What do you think of this? Have you ever thought of the Internet in terms of being a “right” in the sense that you’re entitled to it? Does this mean you can sue the government if access is too slow or goes down completely? Since you’re paying for it, would you be entitled to damages if it’s not available?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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