In their Public Policy blog, Google discusses their release of a white paper that explores how ” governments impose limits on the free flow of information online.”
“Over the last two decades, the Internet has delivered tremendous economic and trade benefits. It has driven record increases in productivity, spurred innovation, created new economies, and fueled international trade. In part this is because the Internet makes geographically distant markets easy to reach.
But this engine of economic growth is increasingly coming under attack. According to one study, more than forty governments now engage in broad-scale restriction of online information. Governments are blocking online services, imposing non-transparent regulation, and seeking to incorporate surveillance tools into their Internet infrastructure. These are the trade barriers of the 21st century economy,” the blog states.
Guess Google does not consider their tactics of entering online industries and giving away services till their competition folds another form of this activity.
One wonders if when they “urge policymakers in the United States, European Union and elsewhere to take steps to break down barriers to free trade and Internet commerce” are they asking for unfettered ability to dominate the web themselves.
As the New York Times reports the white paper may be aimed at China.
“With China evidently in its sights, Google has released a policy paper contending that countries that limit Internet users’ access to information providers outside their borders violate their World Trade Organization commitments”.