Google: U.S. trade restrained by Internet-censoring governments

Google has issued a warning call to Washington that free trade is being obstructed by countries that censor the Internet and that it's "high time" something is done about it.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

How critical is an open Internet to the free flow of global trade?

Google has issued a warning call to Washington, saying that foreign governments that censor the Internet are unfairly restraining U.S. trade and creating a barrier for U.S. companies looking to business abroad, according to a Reuters report.

At a public meeting at Google's headquarters this week, Google Chief Legal Office David Drummond told U.S. trade representatives that "it's high time for us to really start sinking our teeth into" a push against censorship of the Internet. He said:

If this were happening with physical trade and manufacturing goods, we'd all be saying this violates trade agreements pretty fundamentally... 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 - 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.

Clearly, the argument is targeted at countries such as China, which has had a rocky relationship with Google for most of the year, following Google's bombshell news alert in January that it had been hacked through a sophisticated cyber attack that originated in China.

The company, which said it would no longer censor the Internet on for the government, has re-routed Google China traffic to Google Hong Kong. In July, the Chinese government renewed Google's license to operate in China for one year - a move that was uncertain for a period of time while the government considered the renewal application.

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