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

ITEXPO's IBM Keynoter: AI is Here Today

By: Paula Bernier    2/20/2018

Many folks think the artificial intelligence is something we'll see in the future. That's true. AI will be employed in a broader variety of more sophi…

Read More

The Blockchain Event Draws a Crowd

By: Paula Bernier    2/20/2018

The Blockchain Event in Fort Lauderdale draws a crowd, offers some answers, and raises lots of interesting questions. Why have some cryptocurrencies g…

Read More

Hughes: WAN Optimization Expertise, Homegrown Solution Differentiate SD-WAN

By: Paula Bernier    2/16/2018

The SD-WAN marketplace is a crowded one. But Hughes Network Systems says it brings unique expertise and proven technology to the table. And that, Jeff…

Read More

Juniper Security Expert: Behavior Analytics Helps Address Threat Complexity

By: Paula Bernier    2/16/2018

Organizations are changing their cybersecurity strategies, says Juniper Networks Cybersecurity Strategist Nick Bilogorskiy, who presented the closing …

Read More

Welbitz Wins ITEXPO's Idea SHOWCASE

By: Paula Bernier    2/16/2018

It was a sweep. Both the audience and the judges at ITEXPO's IDEA Showcase Thursday picked Welbitz as the winner. The company went up against fellow s…

Read More