What typifies freedom of speech? The internet maybe, perhaps so but all that could change under proposals to reform the Information and Communications Treaty of 1998 by the UN.
Gary Shapiro, president of the US’s Consumer Electronics Association, told the BBC;
“Many countries are used to getting revenue from telephone calls, and those telephone calls have gone away in favour of various internet-based video services which don’t produce revenue for them.”
“So they are looking to recover it and they are trying to put a charge on incoming internet access. So if you have a website which is very popular worldwide you would have to pay to get access to them – we think that is wrong”.
“We think the value of the internet is that it is available to everyone for free without international barriers.”
Google agree and are imploring people to sign their petition against such possible moves. After all who would benefit from curtailing any avenue of free speech, well, the very Governments who profess to adhere to such policies of course. These Governments are the ones who will decide the fate of the free and open internet, not you the user.
In fact any agreed new powers could authorise any Government to cut internet access, block sites and content; in effect censoring what their people can publish on-line and access.
Are you ready to say goodbye to your favourite sites? Maybe including this one?
Below is the link to Google’s on-line petition: