But one underlying thing that Cerf misses, is how vital universal network access is to civilization and democracy. When we look at the history of information technology, we often talk about language, stone tablets, papyrus, and the printing press, but in the middle there is the function of the Post, invented by Cyrus the Great to create the largest empire the world had ever seen, in about 500 BC. Since then, every thriving civilization has had a strong and universal network at its underpinnings.
But that network has not always been the Internet, which is Cerf’s point. That is, his argument is that we should not be advocating for access to today’s-most-used network as a basic human, but should be looking for the deeper principles of human equality that require advocacy. Take care of those and access to the Internet will come almost as a matter of course. That’s what I take Cerf to be arguing, anyway, and I think this response fails to address it.