Keep the Internet Free and Open

In December, there is going to be a closed door meeting at which only governments have a voice. At this meeting, some governments are hoping to increase censorship and regulate the Internet. Google is spearheading a campaign so that the world can at least try to have a say in this – to say that they support a free and open Internet, and that governments alone, working behind closed doors should not determine the future of the Internet.

When the Internet is so integral to everyone’s life, and when there is such an enormous support for the open source culture, it would seem dictatorial to censor this channel of free and open information. A place where we can find answers to the questions we are too shy, to embarrassed or too scared to ask actual people – when you restrict that, it would seem that you are restricting personal growth. Not to mention the billions of people who make their living, or even just find immense gratification, through the open nature of the Internet.

However, is there an argument to be had about how a wild, uncontrolled Internet allows too much Internet piracy and exposure of inappropriate materials to minors? One could argue there is too much illegality going on in the free and open Internet – and that regulation is the way to ensure that those who work hard are paid their dues and not ripped off due to Internet piracy. Regulation and stricter rules could reduce scams, viruses, credit card fraud, and all the other nasties that pollute the web.

Where do you stand? Is censorship an abhorrent action and must be stopped at all costs? Or could it be good for the Internet to have some official watchdogs?

If you want to add your voice to the official clamor demanding that the Internet remains free and open, do so here.