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Almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the internet is a fundamental right, a poll for the BBC World Service suggests.

The survey - of more than 27,000 adults across 26 countries - found strong support for net access on both sides of the digital divide.

Countries such as Finland and Estonia have already ruled that access is a human right for their citizens.

International bodies such as the UN are also pushing for universal net access.

"The right to communicate cannot be ignored," Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), told BBC News.

"The internet is the most powerful potential source of enlightenment ever created."

He said that governments must "regard the internet as basic infrastructure - just like roads, waste and water".

"We have entered the knowledge society and everyone must have access to participate."

The survey, conducted by GlobeScan for the BBC, also revealed divisions on the question of government oversight of some aspects of the net.

Web users questioned in South Korea and Nigeria felt strongly that governments should never be involved in regulation of the internet. However, a majority of those in China and the many European countries disagreed.

In the UK, for example, 55% believed that there was a case for some government regulation of the internet.

Rural retreat

The finding comes as the UK government tries to push through its controversial Digital Economy Bill.

As well as promising to deliver universal broadband in the UK by 2012, the bill could also see a so-called "three strikes rule" become law.

This rule would give regulators new powers to disconnect or slow down the net connections of persistent illegal file-sharers. Other countries, such as France, are also considering similar laws.

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I'm going to have to ponder the "internet rights" issue, but along those lines . . .
anyone NOT claiming deductions for internet and other communications devices as business expenses is missing the boat so to speak.
It can easily be argued that ALL communications . . internet, cable tv, cell phones etc
are required in today's business climate.
JMO
 

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Since when did what people produce when they go to work, become something that others have a right to obtain?

Crazy stuff!
 

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no as in government will make sure we pay for it for others....
a right is not a good or service.
 
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