The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

The Restriction of the Internet is a Human Rights Abuse.

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/31/2016 Category: Technology
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 641 times Debate No: 98596
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)




I would like to start off by thanking my opponent in advance for accepting this debate and giving me the opportunity to argue something I am passionate about.

More than half of the world"s population lives in countries that restrict internet and media access: 34 percent in countries that heavily restrict internet access or content with another 23 percent with partially restricted access, according to a 2015 Freedom of the Net report. The question is, are all these countries committing human rights abuses?

1. No trolling
2. No bringing up arguments after introduction of one's side
3. Do not attack the person (Ad Hominem Logical Fallacy)
4. My opponent agrees to my definition of human rights, abuse, and restriction provided later on. (If you are absolutely against the definitions, please comment your versions and if I am alright with them, then you can accept.
5. Forfeiting or "freezing" the debate will result in automatic loss.
6. Evidence is not mandatory but will be regarded above logical reasoning.
7. All links should be added at the end of the debate with notes in the argument as to what link was used.
8. No religious offense should be brought in (Sensitive topic and can sway voters immensely) and if any are, will result in automatic loss.

R1: Rules, Acceptance and Pro Arguments
R2: Con Arguments/Rebut, Pro Rebut/Rebuild
R3: Con Rebut/Rebuild, Pro Rebut/Rebuild/Final Remarks
R4: Con Rebut/Rebuild/Final Remarks, Pro (Just smile and wave :))
Note: Pro may not attack or rebuild in the last round as they were allowed to start off with the arguments and would offset equal arguing time.


Restrict: Put a limit on, keep under control

Internet: The global communication network that allows almost all computers worldwide to connect and exchange information

Human rights: rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

Abuse: unjust or corrupt practice

All definitions were found online (simply Google them) except for Human Rights which were defined by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner[1].

Remember that this is an international topic. Therefore, one must evaluate or at least bring into consideration other countries other than the United States.

I wish the best of luck to my opponent. Let's have a great debate!



So, the question is ' The Restriction of the Internet is a Human Rights Abuse'.

Since the introuction of the Human Rights Act in 1988 new technologies have arose shaping the world around us. In 1990 when Tim Berners Lee created the World Wide Web (www.) for FREE it has had a major impact on the way we all live our lives on a daily basis.

Now, countries which have the ability to Internet Access and its people aren't stopped accessing due to wealth and other problematic things which may restrict their ability to access the tool which is the WWW, restricting their access could be argued as a breach of their Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association ( achieved through forums, boards and social media) and Protocol 1, Article 2 Right to education due to the mass amount of information available on a metric ton of topics.

Restricting the internet in countries tends to be for politcal gain and avoid many other things. By noticing this breach of human rights it ensures that people rights offline should be the same as when they are online.
Debate Round No. 1


I have only one argument, which should suffice:
Illegal Websites are blocked by many countries including the United States. Illegal Websites constitute many things including governmental secret leaks, child pornography websites, terrorist organization recruitment websites, and pretty much any other website that goes against he constitution of whichever country. If a country blocks or restricts these websites, can it be said they are committing a human rights abuse? I don't believe so. Let's look at the incidence of smallpox. this disease which was 10x more severe than Ebola or malaria was eventually eradicated from the earth, however, other countries had done experiments with smallpox to create biological weapons and utilize them in ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles). North Korea has some as do Russia, Iran, Iraq, and more. The instructions to create this biologically engineered strain of smallpox is kept under lock somewhere in the U.S. government. Let's assume that someone somehow gets their hands on that and decides to post it online, where other countries can utilize it to create biological terror. Should the United States not immediately block that website and others that may hold this information? At the point where the information being spread online threatens the life of people, or the sovereignty of a nation, it should be blocked. This happens now as well. Freedom of Speech, which Americans tend to argue in every which way is technically not freedom of speech. If I stand on a podium and tell everyone to go shoot the president, guess who is going to get either thrown in jail or shot on the spot? Me! So freedom of speech doesn't apply everywhere, and it shouldn't online either.

Now onto rebuttal:

First, I applaud your arguments! They are sincerely very well thought out. (I really hope that doesn't sound sarcastic because it isn't).

I am going to assume you drew the Article 11 and Article 2 arguments from the European Convention on Human Rights? Right? Let's take a look at that.

Article 11 says, and I quote, "You also have the right to form and be part of a trade union, a political party or any another association or voluntary group. Nobody has the right to force you to join a protest, trade union, political party or another association."[1] I see how you can argue this, but I believe that the reason for this article being in the Humans Right Act is to make sure that nobody forces anybody to join a party, union, association, etc. The Act was created in 1998, when Internet was a little baby, so I'm pretty sure, while it can be interpreted to include the Internet, it probably wasn't meant to include the Internet.

But enough of that, let's look at Article 2 of the First Protocol which says, and I quote, "No person shall be denied the right to education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions."[2] While the same argument of how this Article most likely does not apply to the Internet could work here, I want to throw in something new so let's look at it this way: There are websites out there that encourage people to be terrorists. Isis even reaches out to people on DATING SITES![3]. I do understand the concern of education, but at the point where ISIS can "educate" people to mindlessly kill and murder, it really puts this argument on the line. I'm sure you were arguing about normal K-12 education which, I too, believe everyone should have access to, but the word education can be interpreted in so many ways and can apply to so many cases, that in the end, it can be used for bad things.

You then talk about how restricting Internet in countries tends to be for political gain. This statement is true, however is that necessarily bad? What if a government promotes a democratic or representative form of government and wants to snuff out any people encouraging a oligarchy led by an organization that brings death into the world? At this point, can we say that all restrictions of the Internet leading to political gain is bad?

In the end, I leave you with this, education and freedom to assemble is VERY VERY important no doubt about that, but at the point where, by not restricting the Internet, lives can be at stake, I believe the restriction of the Internet is not a human rights abuse. Yes, some countries do restrict the Internet solely for bad purposes, but those countries usually tend to be the countries that A) No one likes and B) No one supports and are currently committing human rights abuses in other ways. In general, most countries block the Internet to keep their citizens safe. That's why people join a country or government. For freedom and safety. And for most of the countries that are engaged in restricting the Internet (which includes the United States) it's for good and to ensure that the people have freedom and safety.


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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Bribri10114 1 year ago
Maybe you should have accepted instead of Flawed doctrine XD. But anyway you are all right in asserting your darknet argument (I could go deeper but this isn't the debate). Last thing I would have to say is that we would have to measure impact of possible loss of safety to education, which in my opinion, ISIS recruitment censorship should be weighed over loss of education.
Posted by AndyE123 1 year ago
Wikileaks is a fair point. Yes, I agree the darknet is still part of the internet and anyone can access it, that is why the government should stop regulation of "surface web" where many of everyday users go. If there are incidents on the surface web, such as Isis twitter recruitment campaigns, it should be left to companies like Twitter to decide what to do. The government should only encourage these companies rather than threaten or get involved. It is not realistic to block access to the darknet. The darknet is vastly complex, and stopping use of Tor would be near impossible. The darknet is not only for illegal activity, for many parts of the world, it is the only medium for people to use where they cannot be censored. If it was possible, and the government stopped use of the darknet, many people would be left with no alternative, subjugated to censorship. Government should use both sides of the internet to investigate, but should not directly interfere and force websites and companies to work in their interest.
Posted by Bribri10114 1 year ago
Thank you AndyE123 for your concern. I do understand that that would be a reasonable argument to bring up, however, remember how there are sites like Wiki leaks where bad info is posted. Which is available to everyone. Also remember that 1) the darknet is still part of the Internet and 2) anyone can get access to the darknet if they have the resources. They can still be citizens but restricting access to the darknet would not count as a human rights abuse. But even if I gave my opponent that argument they would still have to argue Isis. I actually think my opponent deactivated his account.....
Posted by AndyE123 1 year ago
Bribri, your Doomsday scenario does not help your case. If someone were to attain devastating info, such as where the US houses ICBM's, that info would most likely be posted on the dark net, where the US cannot simply just "block" the website. Anyone in the world would be able to access it with complete anonymity. Even if the US hacked the dark net site, a cloned website could pop up at any moment. So, no, it is not as simple of only blocking the bad stuff, as there will always be another site. So why infringe on regular people's rights?
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