Google calls on governments to increase information flow

Google is calling on governments to remove "onerous limits" on free information flow in order to realise the transformative economic benefits of the internet.

In a , the internet giant claimed that the economic benefits of the internet were under threat, as increasing numbers of governments moved to impose limits on information flow.

"The international community must take action to ensure the free flow of information online," the document reads. "Governments should honor 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.

To realise the full potential of the internet as a global marketplace and platform for innovation, policy makers needed to publicly highlight as unfair trade barriers those practices by governments that restrict or disrupt the flow of online information services.

They also needed to take "appropriate action" where government restrictions on the free flow of online information violated international trade rules, and establish new international trade rules under bilateral, regional, and multilateral agreements that provide further assurances in favour of the free flow of information on the internet.

"An open Internet has been and remains an absolutely critical component of the new information economy's ability to empower individuals and create shared information markets," the document reads.