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Most people around the world think the internet is a human right

This comes as part of a new study by the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Image: keyboard via shutterstock

A NEW REPORT has found that around the world, the majority of people feel that affordable access to the internet and free online expression are human rights.

The study, published this week by the Centre for International Governance International, asked 23,326 internet users in 24 different countries a range of questions about the importance of the internet.

For the survey, information was collected through Ipsos’s internet panel system in 20 of the countries, while in the other four it was collected via telephone interviews.

The information was collected in just over a month between October 7 and November 12.

In each country around 1,000 individuals were asked to give feedback – with the span of nations reaching across six continents.

Human right 

In their responses, 83% of the survey’s recipients felt that affordable internet access should be a basic human right.

internet survey Source: CIGI/Ipsos

The country that put the least importance on the internet as a human right was Japan, where 62% of those asked agreed it should be a basic human right, although only 13% of these ‘strongly agreed’.

In the Middle East and Africa there was strong feeling for access to the internet as a human right. Across the region 90% of people agreed that it should be – with 72% of these strongly agreeing.

Internet importance 

Respondents were asked a range of questions aimed at measuring the mood on internet usage.

People around the world were asked how much trust they invested in their government’s role in internet usage. Across the nations, just under half (47%) of people would trust their own government with running the internet.

government trust survey

Distrust was lowest in South Africa, where only 28% of people would trust their government in the running of the internet – and highest in India, where 77% of people would trust their government with the running of the internet.

The trust numbers dropped off again when people were asked if they would trust the United States to run the internet. Just over one third (36%) said that they would trust the internet in the hands of Uncle Sam.

Nigeria were found to be most trusting of America (62%) while Germany were found to be the least trusting (13%).

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