Google Launches Regulation Free and Open Web Campaign

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A highly publicized UN conference on the future of the internet kicked off in Dubai yesterday, amidst warnings from organizations led by Google and Microsoft that the talks could lead to the end of the World Wide Web as we know it.

The UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which is organizing the talks, said that it is hoping to reach a broad consensus that will allow for the revision of a wide-ranging treaty that has remained unchanged since 1988.

Attending the 11-day meeting are regulatory officials from 193 nations, all of whom will be given the opportunity to propose changes to the way in which the internet is regulated. According to the ITU, items up for discussion concern issues such as security and the expansion of internet services into developing nations.

This all seems fairly innocuous in itself, but the get-together of international regulators has caused alarm among some of the web’s highest profile companies, who say that the forum could well provide an opportunity for repressive governments to curb internet freedoms and remove user anonymity once and for all.

Google especially, is going all-out to raise awareness about what’s happening, posting the following message onto its homepage:

 Love the free and open Internet? Tell the world’s governments to keep it that way. 

Linked from this message is a special page containing an interactive map, which asks netizens to help them in its bid to keep the internet free and open, and provides a detailed outline of its concerns that the proposed changes to internet regulation may have.

Google’s chief concern is that some of the proposals being made would permit governments to censor free speech on the internet, and possibly even cut off internet access at will. In addition, the search engine company says that another proposal could lead to the introduction of new tolls that services like Facebook, Skype and YouTube would be required to pay in order to operate across international borders. Google says that this could result in access to information being limited – especially in emerging nations.

Google’s final gripe is that only governments are allowed to have a say at the conference. As it has pointed out numerous times in the past, many of these same governments have extremely poor track records with regard to internet freedoms, routinely clamping down on and restricting access to websites they view as dissenters.  Google believes that any decision on the future of the internet should also involve the companies and people that build the web.

As well as its web page asking for people to voice their support, Google has launched the #freeandopen hashtag as an option for internet users wanting to voice their support. At the time of writing, 2.3 million people and counting have lent their support to the campaign.


Main image via URBAN ARTefakte (

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley is an independent freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast from the UK. A journalism graduate of Nottingham University, Mike enjoys travelling... Read Full Bio
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  • Jeremiah Jacobs

    I definately agree with Google that the web should be an open source of information, opinions and ideas. However, it’s contradictary of Google when it seems their objective is to monopolize the internet with not only their control of search, but with their ongoing development of tools that gain them more control. Agree?

    • Mike Wheatley

      As a matter of fact Jeremiah, I do agree with you wholeheartedly, but I felt that this was probably not the right forum to express my views in that regard. But for sure, Google are certainly acting in their own interests, most likely scared to death that as a result of these talks their own control over the internet will be diminished.

      • Crying Teeth

        Would you like to make a comment on this now? (“THE UN ASKS FOR CONTROL OVER THE WORLD’S INTERNET” >>> It is getting so very apparent that all over the globe, locally as well as nationally, the issues are all about CONTROL. As they get more intense, COMMAND becomes her sister. “Command and Control” issues will eventually DOMINATE all communications IMO.

        How do you think this will effect Google.? How much will THEIR CONTROL over the internet be effected by this UN resolution? Will they abdicate ALSO (so to speak) and become part of the UN “process” of “DPIing”, and in so doing, themselves, surrender to further measures that lend to “repressive governments” and, by doing so actually become PARTY TO THE UN’S act(s) “to curb internet freedoms and remove user anonymity once and for all.”?

        ON a private or personal level, doesn’t this “UN Y.2770 standard” of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) allow the different authorities to get into the very meat of anyone’s communications (emails for example, or webpage data, etc) and not just the headers and etc. Who are these “authorities” anyway?
        Thanks for answering.

        Crying Teeth

  • Al

    I think its ironic that Google want to help promote a free and open web, when they are the largest most influential corporate manipulator of it!

  • Brad

    Its a rare example of corporate monopoly interest alligned with the greater good.

  • #freeandopen

    “governments have extremely poor track records with regard to internet freedoms”

    Governments have a poor track record with EVERYTHING they get involved in – Education, Energy, soon to be Healthcare. Name one industry that the Goverment got their greedy hands on that substantially improved.

    They feel that the internet is the one thing that we the people have on our side to resist their Tyranny.

    This is the one fight we must win.

    • Pedram

      if not for the government intervention there would not have been any sort of widespread education system anywhere in the world. I agree that, the education system now needs to be developed dramatically and partnering with private and non-profit organizations is probably the best way to start implementing new ideas. It’s important to look at the role of government in initiating some of the things we take for granted now that the hard work was done to mobilize. Do you suppose the military is also poorly run?

      also the government laid the foundations for the internet to begin with.

  • Saksham

    Yes Internet should be free and open but every country should ban por sites

    • Constantinople

      Well that doesn’t sound very free and open…

      Also, what TheSahdowBehindYou said: why would SEJ need to contact me through email about a comment I left on this page?

      • Phil Butler

        @Constantinople. Could be because you opted in to have replies mailed to you?

        The Editor

  • TheSahdowBehindYou

    Can you say, ” Google’s main goal is to monopolize the use of the Internet for financial gain and cares not for the freedoms of the people who use it.” ?

    Also… Why would you need my email address. if you aren’t going to publish it?!

  • Eric

    Where was Google when SOPA was followed up by CISPA?

  • Sunny

    Google itself is censoring content In China, to be able to do business there, no?

  • Crying Teeth

    Unfortunately, its really the Global Elite that we need to WATCH and CHECK the most (as much as possible)—and their constituents at events such as this UN conference. IMO we are moving rapidly towards the momentous final events of Rev. 13-19. In Rev. 17 you see the moment of the USA led (chapter 13:11-18) GLOBAL FEDERATION the “KINGS OF THE EARTH” pushing the “mark of the beast” (MOB)… for “one hour.” (An “hour” in prophecy is very short time, maybe 3 -6 months.) Many historicist scripture prophecy believers think that is the last prophecy before the world ends as the TRUE Christ arrives in the clouds of heaven. Many also believe that the MOB means “a pixel chip” of some sort “in the flesh” (through a card first maybe) — as a “command and control” measure for all the world’s “society”— with everything digitally oriented: ie, identification and security, health insurance, BANKING, etc. IF things get worse and worse in the world, it will be because the 7 last plagues are here and that alone will be enough to cause a Godless group of World Dictators to implement the MOB (with Enforcements—meaning, draconian laws even unto death). Remember that the NWO/OWO has a plan for implementation of a One World Value System. It’s not going to be the USD, or the YEN, it’s not going to be another “paper currency.” It will be a digital value system only. IMO, and in the opinion of many who research this, that would mean a moment where THE ENTIRE INTERNET would be regulated at the commerce level through out the world. That would mean that at some chaotic moment in the near future, a DIGITAL PERMISSION would be needed by ANY ONE who would seek to ACCESS THE INTERNET. JUST TO ACCESS IT, you will need the MOB. At that moment, one will have to have the CODE 666 which is basically a single pixel chip (a laser RFID CHIP) implanted in every individual who would take the “command and control” measure, ie, “in the right hand or forehead. ” There is much to say about this; it’s not futurism (long off), and it’s got nothing to do with preterism (already fulfilled); it’s true scripture prophecy, and there is more to the MOB system and it’s implementation than meets the eye. Thus, we are seeing the last moments of FREEDOM OF SPEECH all over the world via the INTERNET. Best get to it, and use it! Time is short. Related article:

  • Mahesh Kumar

    I Won’t express my view in that regard, because I’m not clear about all conditions behind that. Is it beneficial for all of us? Is it Good for all of us(Internet users) or Not? It’s hard-Nut to say anything before implementing.

    • Jeffry Ng Darwis

      I agree with you Mahesh Kumar , that we can’t know whether it’s good or not before the result come out . But Restrictions over internet Freedom is not a good thing . With the world as it is , there are way too many restrictions , regulations , and rules created to protect those guy in the high seat .

      The best way in my opinion is to include company involved in Internet business such as GOOGLE , YAHOO , MICROSOFT , FACEBOOK and REDDIT in the meeting as well .

  • Rafael Thomas

    Google is not exactly promoting free web for all! Now they earn more from the power of FREE than any other promotional strategy! As an online Marketer & web designer i can surely bet on that.Now Google & hostgator is providing free website for small & medium businesses in India for the period of one year. They are investing for future by this as the next year they can persuade those business owners to pay for the costly hosting & Domain charges. Now this is an unfair marketing strategy they have adopted. Now the hosting & Domain charges for the second year is sky high. And the business owners are surely going to be deterred from renewing their website domain & hosting as they are not likely to get results from an unprofessional website design which is not optimized for search engines. Now having a website online is one thing but having the customers find it is more important! And the program partners may use the contact details of these business owners to promote their products and services. Google knows that free is more powerful than discounts and cost efficiency factors in front of innocent customers. So they stick them with huge bills behind the back with the power of FREE!!