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Is Internet access a human right?

We’re halfway done with 2011, a year marked by remarkable, revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East – uprisings facilitated and documented on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.

When the governments in Egypt and Syria tried to control the flow of information from citizens by blocking Internet access and other forms of communication, the worldwide perception of these acts was that they were sinister and cruel. People were silenced. It was as if their vocal chords were cut; it was as if we, outside the Middle East, were blinded.

Was the impact so dramatic because today Internet access has reached the status of a basic need – like clean water or electricity?

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