Protesters Lay Siege To Google HQ
A group of ‘net neutrality’ demonstrators laid siege to the Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA last Friday, protesting about the recent Google deal with Verizon. The peaceful protest lasted for an hour or two and involved around 100 people waving ‘Dont Be Evil’ banners, as well as a fair percentage of journalists and other media. Whilst it wasn’t exactly a massive show of force against Google, i’m not sure the Googleplex has ever experienced anything like this before.
The demonstration was over Google’s recent deal, that appears to support the concept of a level internet playing field, whilst also omitting the whole wireless internet field from the rules. James Rucker of Colorofchange.org is quoted as saying
We’re here because Google and Verizon have put forth a plan that while saying it protects the Internet, does quite the opposite. They’re talking about producing a separate, fast lane, essentially. A higher tier for premium content, which means if you want to play in the twenty-first century Internet that is upon us, you’re going to have to pay.
Amongst the groups present were Free Press, MoveOn.org, ColorofChange.org and of course the Raging Grannies, all making for a very colourful protest. It’s important that people stand up for these issues today, when so much is in the hands of huge companies, and motivations are business based. I think the MD of Free Press, Craig Aaron put it best when he said
Google was once the little guy in the garage, and thanks to the protections of net neutrality, it was able to grow into an Internet giant. But if this proposal were to become law, the next Google, now being dreamed up out there in a garage somewhere, would never get the same chance.