Consumer Group Stages Protest at Google HQ to Get Company Out of U.S. Chamber of Commerce

On Monday, September 24 at noon, members of the SumOfUs.org community will head over to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA to deliver a petition signed by 270,000 people asking Google to quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The activist group is using Google+ to gameify the process of getting Google’s support by asking visitors at www.GoogleQuitTheChamber.org to choose from a list of reasons the company should quit and share them with their circles.  The items with the most votes will be announced at the protest. So far, the group has collected more than 800,000 votes.

The SomeOfUs community feels that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not serving the best interests of the public.  One issue is the Chamber’s stance on “net neutrality,” which keeps the internet free for anyone to browse and publish content. Without it, internet service providers would be able to block content from their competitors or charge consumers for access to certain sites.

Another issue is the Chamber’s support of the Protect IP Act (PIPA), which would allow the government to block websites for copyright infringement without a hearing.

Google supports neither PIPA nor the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would also serve to firewall sites without due process. CEO Eric Schmidt has called these measures “Draconian.”

Although both acts were drafted to fight Internet piracy overseas, Google and other American technology companies feel that the measures are extreme.

On January 18, Wikipedia and a few other sites shut down in protest while Congress debated the legislation. Although Google did not shut down its search engine on the day of the protest, the company did black out the Google Doodle in solidarity.

In case anyone at Google misses the protesters on the sidewalk later today, the consumer group has also hired a plane to fly over the building with a banner that reads, “Google: Quit the Chamber.”

Time: 12:00 noon PST, September 24, 2012.

Location: Google Mountain View, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA.

Image by nmedia via Shutterstock.

 

 

 

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