Human Rights for the Digital Age

Kay Mathiesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Human rights are those legal and/or moral rights that all persons have simply as persons. In the current digital age, human rights are increasingly being either fulfilled or violated in the online environment. In this article, I provide a way of conceptualizing the relationships between human rights and information technology. I do so by pointing out a number of misunderstandings of human rights evident in Vinton Cerf's recent argument that there is no human right to the Internet. I claim that Cerf fails to recognize the existence of derived human rights. I argue further that we need to consider what other human rights are necessitated by the digital age. I suggest we need a Declaration of Digital Rights. As a step toward the development of such a declaration, I suggest a framework for thinking through how to ensure the human rights are satisfied in digital contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-18
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Mass Media Ethics: Exploring Questions of Media Morality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Philosophy


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