Internet behemoth Google is warning its users that an upcoming United Nations conference concerning the Web poses significant threats to a “free and open Internet.”
Government representatives from U.N. member nations are set to meet in December to create a new information and communications treaty which, Google says, could be used to implement global government controls over the Internet.
From the Google “Take Action” website:
There is a growing backlash on Internet freedom. Forty-two countries filter and censor content. In just the last two years, governments have enacted 19 new laws threatening online free expression.
Some of these governments are trying to use a closed-door meeting in December to regulate the Internet.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is bringing together regulators from around the world to re-negotiate a decades-old communications treaty.
Proposed changes to the treaty could increase censorship and threaten innovation.
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.
The Internet company argues that a closed-door U.N. conference is the inappropriate place to rework a treaty that would affect virtually all Internet users. Furthermore, the company says that the billions of people throughout the world who use the Internet daily and the experts who build and maintain it must have a larger voice than a handful of government bureaucrats.
You can sign a petition disavowing the U.N. meeting here.