Google calls on governments to remove barriers to internet commerce

Google has called on policymakers in the US, European Union and elsewhere to break down barriers to free trade and internet commerce. The internet firm has published a whitepaper that explores the ways that governments impose limits on the free flow of information online.

Google has called on policymakers in the US, European Union and elsewhere to break down barriers to free trade and internet commerce.

The internet firm has published a whitepaper that explores the ways that governments impose limits on the free flow of information online.

The transformative economic benefits of the internet are under threat, as increasing numbers of governments move to impose onerous limits on information flow, the whitepaper said.

"In addition to infringing human rights, governments that block the free flow of information on the internet, are also blocking trade and economic growth," said Bob Boorstin, Google's director of public policy.

Google said research has shown that more than 40 governments now engage in broad-scale restriction of online information.

By blocking online services, imposing non-transparent regulation, and seeking to incorporate surveillance tools into their internet infrastructure, governments are creating barriers of the 21st century economy, Boorstin said in a blog post.

Google said governments should honour existing international obligations including under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement, prevent trade barriers created by information regulation, and develop new international rules that provide enhanced protection against these trade barriers of the 21st century.

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