Google Urges Internet to Take Action for Free and Open Web

By Rachel Ramsey December 03, 2012

It’s not every day that Google’s homepage is accompanied by anything other than its logo and search bar. Today, the homepage features a simple question and statement, “Love the free and open Internet? Tell the world's governments to keep it that way.”

The link leads to Google’s Take Action page, a site dedicated to a free and open Web. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is bringing together regulators from around the world to re-negotiate a decades-old communications treaty. Forty-two countries filter and censor content and in just the last two years, governments have enacted 19 new laws threatening online free expression. Some proposals could permit governments to censor legitimate speech — or even allow them to cut off Internet access.

Proposed changes could increase censorship, and would require services like YouTube, Facebook and Skype to pay new tolls in order to reach people across borders. This could limit access to information — particularly in emerging markets.

More than two billion people around the world use the Internet to discover, work, share and communicate. More than two million smartphones are connected around the world every day, more than 325 million photos are shared on social media every day, 143,000 Internet-related businesses started every year in 30 developing countries and there are 70 hours of video uploaded to YouTube per minute, with 70 percent of viewers outside of the U.S. Google’s aim is to get users, experts and organizations to voice their support for a free and open Internet that enables all of this sharing and communicating.

“A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet. Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its future. The billions of people around the globe who use the Internet should have a voice,” the page reads.

The site is promoting the movement with the #freeandopen hashtag, and more than 1.5 million people have signed to petition the ITU’s proposals. There is an interactive map updated in real-time to show how many and where people are voicing their support. The ITU negotiations will begin today and continue until Dec. 14.

This isn’t the first time the Internet has teamed up to protest changes to the Internet as we know it. Jan. 18, 2012 was the largest online protest in history to stop the Internet censorship bills, SOPA and PIPA.  The Internet also joined in an anti-ACTA protest earlier this year.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

TechZone360 Web Editor

Related Articles

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk Square Off on Rocket Firsts

By: Doug Mohney    11/25/2015

On Monday, November 23, Blue Origin successfully flew the first fully reusable rocket into space, giving the company first bragging rights. Founder Je…

Read More

Autonomous Car Technology Takes New Leap Forward With Ford, Uber

By: Larry Alton    11/24/2015

The age of the self-driving car is nearly upon us, or at least that's what major technology and automotive companies are hoping. There have been major…

Read More

Unusual but Fun Tech Ideas for 2015

By: Rob Enderle    11/24/2015

Well, it's the week of the big sales, and many of us are planning to buy that special someone a special something. I figured I'd join my peers and poi…

Read More

Locus Telecommunications is Challenging the FCC's Authority, Claiming Due Process Violations

By: Special Guest    11/24/2015

One of a handful of prepaid calling card companies slapped with a $5 million fine by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) for its…

Read More

Kaspersky: Three Out of Four Users Have Trouble Spotting Big Threats

By: Steve Anderson    11/23/2015

We all know that spending on cybersecurity has been on the rise lately, as everyone from major corporations to military groups ramp up their cyberdefe…

Read More