Google Slams Upcoming UN Meeting on Internet Freedom

November 21st, 2012 at 11:43 pm

A conference is being organized by the United Nations in an effort to agree on a new information and communications treaty this December, but Google is not having it, calling the event a threat to the “free and open internet.”

“A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet. Governments alone, working behind closed doors, should not direct its future,” Google wrote on its Take Action page, which has been asking readers to add their name to an online petition as a show of support. “The billions of people around the globe who use the Internet should have a voice.”

The UN agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU), however, has said that any change on the treaty should be in accordance to a consensus among member nations.

Google fears that some proposals could “permit governments to censor legitimate speech – or even allow them to cut off internet access.”

The company adds: “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 concluded that it is concerned that “only government have a voice at the ITU” and not stakeholders in the internet, adding that the World Conference on International Telecommunitations was “the wrong place” to make decisions about the future of the internet.

Meanwhile, the ITU has said that countries could invite whoever they like to be part of its delegation at the meeting.

Source: BBC


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