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

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Why the Apple Watch Failed

By: Rob Enderle    6/29/2015

The Apple Watch hasn't exactly been the success the iPod, iPhone, and iPad initially were (though to be fair the iPhone and iPod weren't that great th…

Read More

Department of Defense Wants to Move Majority of Apps to the Cloud by 2020

By: Peter Bernstein    6/29/2015

It is no secret that the U.S. government wants to upgrade its IT capabilities and that moving them into the cloud is a priority. In fact, it is a mand…

Read More

HBO Now Proves Big Hit with Cable Cutters

By: Steve Anderson    6/26/2015

For those have made the jump from traditional cable service to online sources for entertainment- also known as "cable cutters" or "cord cutters"-the I…

Read More

OneWeb Satellite Broadband Effort Gets $500M

By: Doug Mohney    6/26/2015

OneWeb, intent on building a 900 satellite Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) broadband network encompassing the globe, released a flurry of information today. The…

Read More

Ransomware Hits Hard: $18 Million in 15 Months

By: Steve Anderson    6/25/2015

Ransomware has been on the rise in recent months, and the extent of its ascension might horrify even the most casual observer. The software, which tak…

Read More