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Net Users Worry About Google/Verizon Proposal to FCC
Emotions ran high at a protest at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California today. Many demonstrators said they began to worry in earnest about the future of an open internet after Google made a pact with Verizon to protect their profits. Google proposed its own version of internet neutrality to the FCC.
For about an hour and a half today, protesters swarmed Amphitheater Parkway near Google Way in the heart of Silicon Valley. They converged on the giant search engine company Google saying they were worried about the future of an open internet. Their worry was heightened when it was disclosed this week that Google made a pact with Verizon and proposed their own profit protecting version of internet neutrality to the FCC.
A couple of dozen protesters started out before noon in front of a Google sign where they spoofed Google's trademark; they then wandered across the company's expansive campus to find the core group that had filled a large bus and made their way down the peninsula from San Francisco to demonstrate for internet freedom.
At about 12:15 the two groups converged near a main entrance. Police were on hand -- also about 20 reporters representing media sources from valleywagging websites to the New York Times to http://www.wired.com arrived to document the action.
A couple of Google employees were tasked with passing out "feedback forms" to the crowd. The protesters, who said they had formed an ad hoc Internet Freedom Defenders coalition made of of about 5 groups for this particular demo, preferred to express themselves with spirited chants. Some raised fists in the air as they shouted: Keep our internet free!
They verbally attacked Google for making a pact with Verizon that puts the open Internet in jeopardy. Demonstrators urged Google to live up to its corporate motto: “Don’t Be Evil.”
James Rucker, executive director of ColorofChange.org, addressed the group, and demonstrators nodded in agreement when he hinted broadly that Google is getting "too big". "We've seen what happens when big industry is able to write its own rules, just look at the banks, look at BP. We cannot let the same happen with the internet,” he stated.
Gail Sredanovic of the group "Raging Grannies", an activist group of older women who take on social justice causes, said "The Federal Communications Commission should exercise their authority to protect internet users." She portrayed an FCC commissioner being pushed around by an arrogant Google monster in a short presentation in front of the crowd, saying, "Oh, but the big companies are so powerful!" The crowd replied with more chanting and shouted into bullhorns "People have the power!"
Rucker heads up http://www.ColorofChange.org
Of people joining in the protest, at least one was affiliated with Silicon Valley deBug, a watchdog group
...eager to demonstrate