Simpson: Google fights for Internet rights

Simpson, Andrew

Google is great. And all they do is keep getting better. But they are also fighting for Internet rights.

What started out as simply a great way to get around the Internet has steadily grown into one of the largest companies in the world.

What Google excels at is making cool stuff. They made Google. They just installed GoogleFiber in Kansas City, and it’s crazy fast. They have a dozen driver-less cars constantly driving around parts of the U.S., and they’ve never caused an accident. And pretty soon, Google will release augmented reality glasses that will do things like show you restaurant reviews right in front of your eyes while you’re walking downtown.

But this isn’t the reason I really like Google. I like Google because they’re constantly fighting for my Internet rights.

This week, a United Nations committee called the International Telecommunication Union will decide, without any input from the citizens of world, if they want to take reign of the Internet. Countries that censor their Internet, like China and Iran, believe if that the ITU has control of the Internet, then they would be better able to control and censor the Internet in their countries.

Google, who thrives on the current “free reign” Internet, has decided that ITU control is a terrible idea, and you should think it’s a terrible idea too. The ITU would control the Internet behind closed doors, led by government officials, and without hearing the voices of the people. It’s legislation without representation, but with countries like Russia, Iran, and China deciding the legislation. The U.S. is a member nation of the U.N., and would have to follow ITU guidelines. Guidelines like requirement to ask the governments permission to start a new website.

The U.S. would probably not start to censor content, but this affects the U.S. much more. China houses half of the Internet users in the world, twice as many as the U.S. These new ITU guidelines would give China, a country where googling phrases like “Tienanmen Square” lead to false news sites, even more censoring power over its population.

So Google is fighting these governments. It’s using the fact that it’s Google, and using its enormous influence and power to make this ITU meeting an open forum for the world. It’s started a petition (which you should sign by the way) to get even more leverage over these countries.

Sure, Google is probably doing this because the ITU control would severely limit Google’s business outside the U.S. But still, you should be happy that Google is fighting this fight, because they still happen to be fighting for all of your Internet rights, whether you care or not.

Simpson is a freshman majoring in chemical engineering from Fairway.

Dylan Lysen is a senior from Andover majoring in journalism. Read more from .

  • Updated Dec. 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm
  • Kristian Hermansen

    100% agree with you!

  • disqus_NxcsYRR9tI

    This opinion post seems to ignore everything else that is on the agenda for discussion at the ITU meeting.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/dec/03/telecoms-unitednations

    The Guardian, a UK “news” resource that people on the other side of the pond generally regard as consistent crap, did a better job than this post does on covering this topic.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeanchristophe-nothias/internet-governance_b_2227820.html

    And the Huffington Post did a better job in other aspects. Both covered similar ground and correctly called Google out as the bad player.

  • davidgoldmandg

    Once again Dictators and Corporations are trying to control of what people can say to each other.

    They’re finding the internet extremely inconvenient to their exploitation agendas, and have wormed their way into the UN to use it as a proxy to ‘regulate’ people’s speech so they can keep exploiting us.

    Now they’re spinning social justice and equality arguments to make it look as if the internet is remaining a rich person’s privilege – even though it has penetrated the layers of society faster than any other invention including cars, medicine, electricity, and even food security. Shamefully the UN bureaucrats are only too happy to have something else to regulate and fuss over – no matter what effect the rules will have.

    We the people need to stop this because no official or government will. They’ve all been bought off.

    As they say, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.