The Internet connects more than 2 billion people across the world. Some governments want to use a closed-door meeting in December to increase censorship and to regulate the Internet.
As it stands today — anyone can speak, create, learn, and share on the Internet. It is controlled by no one — no single organization, individual, or government. It connects the world. Today, more than one third of the planet is online.
But not all government supports free and open internet. Forty-two countries filter and censor content. Next month, the International Telecommunications Union is bringing together governments from around the world in attempt to restrict the way we use the web. Some proposals could permit governments to censor legitimate speech — or even allow them to cut off your Internet access. Other proposals would require services like YouTube, Facebook, and Skype to pay new tolls in order to reach people across borders. This could limit access to information — particularly in emerging markets.
Only governments have a voice at the ITU. This includes governments that do not support a free and open Internet. Engineers, companies, and people that build and use the web have no vote. The ITU is also secretive. The treaty conference and proposals are confidential.
Governments alone should not determine the future of the Internet. The billions of people around the globe that use the Internet, and the experts that build and maintain it, should be included. For example, at the Internet Governance Forum, anyone can attend and anyone can speak — a government official has the same influence as an individual.
Please, pledge your support for a free and open internet. Take action here.