Google protests against UN's ITU conference to protect an open and free internet


Google proclaims on a new page that A free and open world depends on a free and open web.

A new government treaty set to be agreed upon in December at the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference, threatens, according to Google, the very foundation of free flow of information in the internet.

Google warns that not all governments want a free and open internet, some want regulations and limitations on freedom of speech.

Part of the message warns internet users that:

Google wrote:

Some proposals could permit governments to censor legitimate speech — or even allow them to cut off Internet access.

Other proposals 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.

Google asks everyone to sign their petition and encourages them to use social media to warn others about such attempts to create new controls and limitations to the openness of the internet.

Some have already began using the hashtag #freeandopen on twitter to discuss this.

BBC reports that:

BBC wrote:

Most recently these included a proposal from Russia suggesting that the US should have less control over the internet's operation.

"Member states shall have equal rights to manage the internet, including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of internet numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources and to support for the operation and development of basic internet infrastructure," it said in a document submitted on 17 November.

Dangerous ideas like "tolls" were also proposed, where companies may have to pay undeveloped nations money for sending traffic to them.

Ideally, there should be very little restrictions and infringements upon liberty in the internet as it is one of the greatest human inventions that allow the spread of new ideas and can unite different groups for important causes (which is why some governments want to control this powerful source of communication).

Much of the Arab spring was possible due to social media like facebook and twitter, cellphones with internet capability, youtube videos being uploaded on the fly, and spreading the details of events to the rest world on reddit.

Controlling the flow of information has been what some despotic rulers have sought to keep hold onto power in contradiction to the interests of the people.

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