MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Activists protested outside Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters against a company proposal they say would create a more restricted Internet.
About 70 demonstrators organized by MoveOn.org, Free Press and other groups protested Friday against an agreement announced this week between Google and Verizon that supports federal rules governing Internet access, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Critics fear the rules proposed by Google and Verizon would compromise an open Internet, and they object to provisions such as one that sets different standards for wireless access providers and land line networks.
Google has in the past said it supported an open Internet and argued Internet service providers should give users open access to all legal Web content, sites and services.
But protesters say the proposed rules contradict that view.
"It would look more like cable television, where Internet service providers and major content companies like Google decide which content gets priority and which content is important," said S. Derek Turner, research director at Free Press.
Organizers of the Google protest delivered online petitions against the proposal to Google's head of public policy, Nicklas Lundblad. Other groups that have raised concerns include the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Internet giants Amazon and Facebook.
"The problem is this proposal does good things for Google and good things for Verizon, but it doesn't do good things for the American public," James Rucker, executive director of Color of Changes, told the protesters.
Facebook, a social networking company based in Palo Alto and seen as a Google competitor, said in a statement, "Preserving an open Internet that is accessible to innovators -- regardless of their size or wealth -- will promote a vibrant and competitive marketplace."
In a statement, Lundblad said Google remains a supporter of the open Internet.
"We're not expecting everyone to agree with every aspect of our proposal, but we think ... that locking in key enforceable protections for consumers is preferable to no protection," the statement said.