The majority of people think that internet access is a 'fundamental right' for everyone, according to a new report conducted for the BBC World Service.
The survey of 27,000 people showed that four out of five adults across the globe think that they deserve access to the internet.
Around 87 per cent of those with internet access said that the web should be 'the fundamental right of all people'. The number was slightly lower for those without internet access at 71 per cent.
The belief was even greater in certain geographical areas. Some 96 per cent
of people in South Korea believe that web access is a right, and 94 per cent in
Around 78 per cent of respondents said that the internet gives them greater freedom, 90 per cent said that it is an important educational tool, and 51 per cent cited the need to access social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.
However, almost half of web users are concerned about privacy issues, and 65 per cent are worried about expressing their opinions online. This was most often seen in South Korea (70 per cent), France (69 per cent), Germany (72 per cent) and China (55 per cent).
Online fraud is also an issue for many people, according to the survey, and just under a third said that this is what worried them most.
The survey was carried out by GlobeScan to support a new range of programming on the BBC World Service.
"Despite worries about privacy and fraud, people around the world see access to the internet as their fundamental right. They think the web is a force for good, and most do not want governments to regulate it," said GlobeScan chairman Doug Miller.
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