Mike Bland

The Internet Is Not Broken

The United Nations International Telecommunication Union is meeting to consider sanctioning Internet taxes and regulations, and I aim to misbehave

- Boston
Tags: Google, activism, philosophy, politics

For folks that don’t know, there’s a meeting currently underway in Dubai in which the United Nations International Telecommunication Union is considering the sanctioning of Internet taxes and regulations by individual nations. In response, Google is hosting a petition against Internet taxes and regulations, and I encourage anyone reading this to take a moment to visit the site, click the “Make your voice heard” button in the upper right of the page, and sign the petition. There’s a field for adding your own personal argument; here’s the one I submitted, for what it’s worth:

The free and open Internet is one of the colossal achievements of mankind, providing access to information and assistance to millions who otherwise would go without, and providing economic advantages to both businesses and customers worldwide. It has also given a voice to political minorities and given them the tools to change their lives for the better. It is precisely due to the lack of legal or political encumbrance that the technology and its application has emerged as such a life-changing, history-changing force and continues to thrive. The Internet is not broken and in need of fixing; there is no one harmed by the free and open Internet as we know it, except for those who, in the pursuit of misguided, possibly nefarious interests, would begrudge the vast, vast majority of human society that freedom and openness and access to information which we currently enjoy. I urge the International Telecommunication Union and the United Nations at large not to continue down the path which it currently appears to be following, and to resist any and all pressure to compromise the integrity and positive influence of the free and open Internet with unnecessary, harmful taxes and regulations.

While it’s certainly arguable that Internet activism frequently has little to no impact, I aim to misbehave to the best of my ability whenever opportunities such as these present themselves. Beats doing nothing.