Google slates UN Internet conference

  • Google has warned that an upcoming United Nations conference poses a threat to the "free and open Internet".

    Government representatives are due to agree a new information and communications treaty in December.

    It has been suggested that some countries may try to force control of the net's technical specifications and domain name system from U.S. bodies to an international organization.

    In response, the UN has said there would be consensus before any change was agreed.

    Google has asked web users to add their name to an online petition to support its view.

    "The (UN agency) International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is bringing together regulators from around the world to renegotiate a decades-old communications treaty," it wrote on its Take Action site on Wednesday.

    "Some proposals could permit governments to censor legitimate speech - or even allow them to cut off 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."

    Google also expressed concern that "only governments have a voice at the ITU" and not companies.

    However, the ITU has said that each country can invite whomever it likes to be part of its delegation at the conference.