[FoRK] [tt] Vint Cerf is

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Jan 5 19:24:00 PST 2012

On 1/5/12 1:40 PM, Bill Kearney wrote:
> It's easy to throw stones, a lot harder to make the argument.
> I disagree that access is a right.  But I insist that any access when purchased must not be encumbered or otherwise filtered, 
> restricted, (folded, spindled or mutilated...).  I vote such with my wallet when purchasing IP services.

It should be something like false advertising or worse if you sell "Internet" access and it isn't really, in the full sense.

> Thus it seems entirely reasonable to legislate that if access is going to be offered as a saleable commodity to the citizenry that 
> said access be entirely unfettered.  It seems entirely /unreasonable/ to insist that access be provided for as if it were some 
> kind of right (of a constitutional nature).

I sort of agree, except that it will become gradually more of a right as other rights can only be fulfilled through it.  When the 
only reasonable way to interact with the government is through the Internet, then it starts becoming the responsibility of the 
government to provide at least enough access for those functions.  And it follows that if general access is trivially provided 
beyond that obligatory access, then it shouldn't be arbitrarily restricted.  All of that follows from the logic of public libraries, 
schools, public areas, etc.  I'm not sure yet whether this is a valid approach, but it seems like a viable line of reasoning.

> So yeah, if you can't afford it you're fucked, now go away you flea-bitten rabble...

On the smaller Hawaiian islands, each person gets a free barge shipping allowance, and maybe transport allowance for government 
functions.  There are some other analogies.

> However, this shouldn't preclude anyone or any entity from giving it away. But in doing so they're still be required to offer it 
> without filtering. Plenty of places do this, for various reasons.
> The workplace, however, being the obvious exception.  You're on company time, so it's company rules.  Feel free to seek employment 
> elsewhere or readjust your IP access demands until you're off the company clock/premises.

It will continue to become an assumed right like phone calls in most types of work.  Companies were weird early on, but becoming 
less so.  And it doesn't matter what they think, more and more people are going to have serious computing and Internet in their pocket.


> -Bill Kearney
> -----Original Message-----
> On 1/5/12 3:48 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> | (ability to TCP/IP is free speech. period.)
> Ability to use it, if it exists -- agreed.
> When I read Cerf's piece earlier today, I wondered how much more he
> could jumble his premise, and still get something published! Cerf seems
> to wobble back and forth between discussing "actually having internet
> access," and "being allowed to use internet access."
> True, "actually having" IP tone seems merely a privilege.  Someone needs
> to pay for it, at least, which hinders ubiquity.
> However, "being allowed to use" IP tone seems as close to a universal
> human right as anything that has appeared in my lifetime... 

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