Google's Cerf says governments shouldn't control the Web

Governments shouldn't be allowed to monopolize the governance of the Internet, according to Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf in a statement released Friday.

Cerf's statement came in response to the announcement from the United Nations Committee on Science and Technology that only governments would be allowed to take part in a working group designed to examine improvements to the influential Internet Governance Forum, an assembly where stakeholders discuss Web governance issues. The IGF was established by the U.N. in July 2006.

"The beauty of the Internet is that it’s not controlled by any one group. Its governance is bottoms-up — with academics, non-profits, companies and governments all working to improve this technological wonder of the modern world," Cerf said.

Google joined the Internet Society, the International Chamber of Commerce and numerous other organizations in sending a letter and launching an online petition voicing their opposition to the U.N.'s decision.

"Today, I have signed that petition on Google’s behalf because we don’t believe governments should be allowed to grant themselves a monopoly on Internet governance," Cerf said. "The current bottoms-up, open approach works — protecting users from vested interests and enabling rapid innovation. Let’s fight to keep it that way."