Internet Censorship a Trade Barrier, Says Google Exec
Internet censorship isn’t just a barrier to free expression–it’s a barrier to free trade as well. And Google (GOOG) Chief Legal Officer David Drummond says we need to start treating it like one because it limits access to foreign markets.
“If this were happening with physical trade, we’d all be saying this violates trade agreements,” Drummond said. “If you want to be part of the community of free trade, you have to let the Internet be open.”
So what’s to be done? Drummond says the U.S. government needs to respond to foreign nations who censor the Internet in the same way it would to those that restrict free trade. “We have great opportunities now with pending trade agreements to start putting some pressure on countries to recognize that internet freedom not only is a core value–that we should be holding them to account from a human rights standpoint,” he said. “But also that if you want to be part of the community of free trade, you are going to have to find a way to allow the internet to be open.”
A wonderful idea in theory, but one that’s certainly not going to go over well in places like China, where an “open Internet” is by defininition a restricted one.