In just a few hours, delegates from around the world will be meeting in Dubai to discuss changes to the ITU. The results of which could lead to further regulation of the Internet by less than reputable countries that want more power in controlling how and what its citizens access online. Google doesn’t like that for a variety of reasons, some self-serving, and the company has invited citizens from around the world to protest with them.
In a post on the Google Public Policy Blog, Vint Cerf details his hand in helping create the Internet. He says that “openness is why the Internet creates so much value today.” He also says that the Internet is “borderless and belongs to everyone.” That’s the basic gist of Google’s initial protest movement in getting people to share why the Internet is important to them. You can now see the results of that first movement in an interactive map.
That map shows a real time count of how many people are signing Google’s petition from around the world. It’s now at over 1 million people and climbing rather quickly. The largest number of those opposed to an ITU takeover of the Web are obviously in more developed nations, but citizens in less developed nations are doing their part to let their voice be heard. Surprisingly enough, even some people in mainland China have signed Google’s pledge.
The ITU negotiations will begin today and continue until December 14. You can add your voice to the growing number of those opposing the ITU until then. The sooner the better, however, as some governments may perhaps have a change of heart after seeing its citizens raise a stink. It worked for SOPA and ACTA. It can work here too.