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Keep The Internet Free and Open, Google's campaign.

Last posted Nov 24, 2012 at 06:11AM EST. Added Nov 20, 2012 at 09:38PM EST
19 conversations with 11 participants

http://youtu.be/z-lwA9GJ1e0

Starting December 3rd, the world’s governments are meeting behind closed doors at the ITU to discuss the future of the Internet. Some governments want to use this meeting in Dubai to increase censorship and regulate the Internet.

http://www.google.com/takeaction

Last edited Nov 20, 2012 at 09:40PM EST
Nov 20, 2012 at 09:38PM EST
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I signed it.

Normally, I don’t bother with petitions, as they never really change anything. However, since this is Google’s thing, it probably has some weight to it. I encourage everyone to support this.

Last edited Nov 23, 2012 at 12:22PM EST
Nov 23, 2012 at 12:20PM EST
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>mfw when i watch these

Last edited Nov 23, 2012 at 01:54PM EST
Nov 23, 2012 at 01:53PM EST
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Signed. Internet censorship is a sign of failure to intelligently police, not dangerous infrastructure.

Nov 23, 2012 at 02:02PM EST
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As usual, our governments are demonstrating how completely out of touch they are with the will of their citizens. I’m signing this right now.

Nov 23, 2012 at 02:14PM EST
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Like Fridge Logic, I signed this even though I usually don’t bother with internet petitions.

Nov 23, 2012 at 02:50PM EST
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On the one hand, I don’t trust the governments of China and the Arab states, but on the other hand, I sure as hell don’t trust Google either – they certainly know more about my online actions than any oil sheik (unless they’ve sold the data to said sheik). In fact, I’d say that the only reason Google would oppose legislation would be if that legislation presented a threat to them. Personally, I don’t think the conference is likely to pass any legislation to let the Chinese decide what sitesI can see, or even to let Cameron decide what sights I can see, because such a proposal would present democratic suicide for any nation that voted for it. I mean, if the free internet lobby can stop a proposal coming directly from a democratic body like the US Congress, anything from the Arab dictatorships doesn’t have a cat in hell’s chance. What I think would happen would be that this conference might force Google to encorporate a ‘do not track’ feature, and possibly force a bit of transparency in terms of how much information they actually have about us, the users of the internet, and what they’re doing with it.

Of course, I may be wrong, and perhaps restrictions on freedom do present a genuine threat to Google’s profits. Or maybe they’re trying to improve their image by being seen as the good guy fighting for online freedom, truth ‘n’ justice. But I tend to find that the most cynical explanation is always the most likely when dealing with viral advertising campaigns and big business in general. So I’m not gonna sign anything just yet.

Nov 23, 2012 at 05:38PM EST
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Rei _12:

I don’t deny that google is against the censorship of their own results – it’s in their interests to be. And it certainly is in the interests of the governments of the world to try to restrict the interenet. My point is that a UN conference seems a strange tool to use for this purpose – while each individual government may want censorship in is own nation, trying to make a global law allowing what seems to be already allowed (the nations that can get away with censorship are censoring, and the one’s that can’t are being stopped more by popular feeling than the UN) seems odd. And why blocka conference to discuss the issue, anyway? Discussion doen’t mean action; I’d go so far as to say that some sort of clarification might even be a good thing.

Moreover, Google hardly have a perfect track record in terms of online freedom either – if they had their way, they’d be collaborating and collecting every result of every search made and then selling it to any company or government that wants it.In fact, that’s pretty close to what they do do. Intrusive observation doesn’t seem a whole lot better than censorship, to me at least. And I still don’t really understand what their motives are in this. The petition itself is extremely vague and, well, the whole affair just strikes me as being dashed suspicious.

More than anything else, though, all that’s just me trying to put words round a gut instinct. Something just doesn’t seem right here. Google’s a firm, not a human rights organisation. Firms exist to make a profit. And somehow, their involvement in this kind of politics just seems… weird. Why aren’t they talking to the ICU about it – they’re hardly outsiders in the tech world. Politically, this is the kind of action an organisation resorts to if the authorities are ignoring them, and no-one ignores google – this is more like what I’d expect from a midrange online pressure group than one of largest companies in the world. Maybe I’m wrong, as I say, and i can see why you would want to sign it. But something just doesn’t feel right here.

Nov 23, 2012 at 06:35PM EST
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BADGERY THING wrote:

Rei _12:

I don’t deny that google is against the censorship of their own results – it’s in their interests to be. And it certainly is in the interests of the governments of the world to try to restrict the interenet. My point is that a UN conference seems a strange tool to use for this purpose – while each individual government may want censorship in is own nation, trying to make a global law allowing what seems to be already allowed (the nations that can get away with censorship are censoring, and the one’s that can’t are being stopped more by popular feeling than the UN) seems odd. And why blocka conference to discuss the issue, anyway? Discussion doen’t mean action; I’d go so far as to say that some sort of clarification might even be a good thing.

Moreover, Google hardly have a perfect track record in terms of online freedom either – if they had their way, they’d be collaborating and collecting every result of every search made and then selling it to any company or government that wants it.In fact, that’s pretty close to what they do do. Intrusive observation doesn’t seem a whole lot better than censorship, to me at least. And I still don’t really understand what their motives are in this. The petition itself is extremely vague and, well, the whole affair just strikes me as being dashed suspicious.

More than anything else, though, all that’s just me trying to put words round a gut instinct. Something just doesn’t seem right here. Google’s a firm, not a human rights organisation. Firms exist to make a profit. And somehow, their involvement in this kind of politics just seems… weird. Why aren’t they talking to the ICU about it – they’re hardly outsiders in the tech world. Politically, this is the kind of action an organisation resorts to if the authorities are ignoring them, and no-one ignores google – this is more like what I’d expect from a midrange online pressure group than one of largest companies in the world. Maybe I’m wrong, as I say, and i can see why you would want to sign it. But something just doesn’t feel right here.

So who do you want to be in charge of the internet?

Nov 23, 2012 at 06:39PM EST
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I’m not going to sign simply because I honestly don’t give the current governmental status of the world enough credit to want to enslave us all.

To explain, I definitely think there are aspects of the internet that need regulating, and that actions like this should at least be discussed. It’s one of the big reasons why I wasn’t against SOPA; it’s not this game of making the internet one big ball of block, it’s about making it easier to distinguish between crime and normal activity. Besides, thinking that the governments of the world are actively trying to ruin our lives is awfully paranoid.

Last edited Nov 23, 2012 at 06:41PM EST
Nov 23, 2012 at 06:39PM EST
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No-one. I think the internet might just be able to look after itself. That’s what It’s been doing for the last decade, so far as I can tell.

Nov 23, 2012 at 06:49PM EST
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And I wouldn’t say ‘enslave’. A regulated internet wouldn’t, perhaps, be such a terrible thing. It’d just get a few boundaries. And that would, on many levels, be a crying shame.

Nov 23, 2012 at 06:57PM EST
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To be fair, Google doesn’t want to take control of the Internet, they want us to speak out to our government to keep the Internet open and free.

Nov 23, 2012 at 07:14PM EST
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What Google wants is to keep its shareholders happy by making as much long-term profit as possible, same as every other public company under the sun. They shouldn’t care about control of the internet unless it affects this aim for some reason. And at the moment, I just can’t see how it, or by extension, this conference, does.

Nov 23, 2012 at 07:33PM EST
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Let’s make this clear first: I’m neutral.

“Keep the internet free and open.” Face it, a “free” and “open” internet yes never been the case. There’s always some higher power knowing what you browse. If the internet was truly “free” and “open”, illegal downloading would be allowed worldwide, and the Chinese wouldn’t have so many locks on their internet.

Well, yes, certainly Google has its reasons to stop this, otherwise they wouldn’t start this. Think about it, when the goverment controls the internet, a good place to start regulating is the results with search engines. Who is the number 1 search engine again? There you have it, Google.

But nonetheless, stopping this is a benefit for most in general. Google has its own reasons to stop it, but it’s the same goal most of us are aiming for, so why not help each other out? We know Google sells its search results to advertisers, that’s no secret anymore. Why aim to stop what’s already there?

This are basically your options:

  • Sign the petition, stop SOPA: Google and corporations have more benefit from your browser history, as it is they who use it to change their marketing strategies and get profit. Stopping SOPA will keep everything as it is on this.
  • Don’t sign, give SOPA a chance: The goverment will mainly use browser history for stuff like finding criminals. Whether or not they’ll give the corporations less freedom can’t be predicted, but I can see them put taxes on internet advertising (which then again rises the chance of other taxes being lowered). Then again, the goverment also has the power to block certain sites and adapt the internet to their interest.

Remember though with the goverment, they can already use the internet to find criminals, as they can also already use it to block certain websites (prime example: China) or stop illegal downloads. Allowing SOPA will just make this easier for them, which is both good and bad. It’s basically sacrificing some privacy (>implying you have that nowadays with the corporations) to make stopping offenders more easily.

Now then, I am also certain a very big reason some want to stop SOPA is due to it making illegal downloading harder, as the goverment can then catch you more easily. To be honest, I find this just a bad excuse. You basically want to stop SOPA so you can keep doing illegal activities.

Last edited Nov 23, 2012 at 08:09PM EST
Nov 23, 2012 at 08:04PM EST
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I can see why you might reach that conclusion, but no, I don’t illegally download music. When you look at the economics of it, I’m not quite sure piracy is quite as wrong as the authorities want us to think it is, but that doesn’t mean I participate in it, and anyway, that’s a debate for another time.

But yeah, on the one hand, what you say makes sense. Google would indeed be the ones getting regulated. But what I don’t see is how being regulated translates into a lower market share. Surely they have more to gain from allowing world governments to talk about this while lobbying in the right places to make sure the result that comes out is one that suits them – considering all the information they’ve already gathered, it would make a lot of sense for governments to work with them, not against them. For example, think of the value to governments of knowing where, say someone who pirates music, or makes some libelous post or whatever, is likely to go after they’ve finished. And I’ll bet they’d pay money for that kind of information, too. It’d make the whole process infinitely easier if Google was on board, and Google could use that as a bargaining chip for pretty much whatever they saw fit. That’s how big business functions politically. As insiders.

But a petition is decidedly not an insider action; it’s what you do if you’re a cause-based pressure group who feels like your regulators are ignoring you. And such a petition rarely makes any kind of difference anyway. Google’s acting like a bunch of pissed off anti-hunt protesters. It’s discombobulating.

Anyway, I’m gonna stop posting here. I’ve said my piece, I think.

Nov 24, 2012 at 06:11AM EST
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Skeletor-sm

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