Vint Cerf

Starting in 1973, when my colleagues and I proposed the technology behind the Internet, we advocated for an open standard to connect computer networks together. This wasn’t merely philosophical; it was also practical.

Our protocols were designed to make the networks of the Internet non-proprietary and interoperable. They avoided “lock-in,” and allowed for contributions from many sources. This openness is why the Internet creates so much value today.

Because it is borderless and belongs to everyone, it has brought unprecedented freedoms to billions of people worldwide: the freedom to create and innovate, to organize and influence, to speak and be heard.

But (this week), a closed-door meeting of the world’s governments is taking place in Dubai, and regulation of the Internet is on the agenda. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is convening a conference from December 3-14 to revise a decades-old treaty, in which only governments have a vote. Some proposals could allow governments to justify the censorship of legitimate speech, or even cut off Internet access in their countries.

You can read more about my concerns on, but I am not alone. So far, more than 1,000 organizations from more than 160 countries have spoken up too, and they’re joined by hundreds of thousands of Internet users who are standing up for a free and open Internet.

On an interactive map at, you can see that people from all corners of the world have signed our petition, used the #freeandopen hashtag on social media, or created and uploaded videos to say how important these issues are.

If you agree and want to support a free and open Internet too, I invite you to join us by signing the petition at Please make your voice heard and spread the word.

Vint Cerf is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. This article was originally published on a Google blog site and republished by permission.

Read Cerf’s Breaking Gov commentary on the “Essential Ingredients for Innovating in Government

Despite a longstanding deadline and months of work, most federal agencies are about to miss the Sept. 30 deadline to enable IPv6 but will face no penalties for not reaching that goal.

Officials say Sept. 30 was a goal set by the Office of Management and Budget and that consequences for not meeting it are unnecessary. Nonetheless, compliance remains important as private industry v6 compliance is strong and therefore limits government interaction. Google, for example, launched IPv6 in June (see video with Vint Cerf above). Keep reading →

It was a year ago this afternoon, when the pages of a new website called Breaking Gov began propagating across the Internet, offering a fresh perspective on the business of government.

As we pause briefly to celebrate our first anniversary, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank the growing number of readers who have discovered Breaking Gov’s distinctive brand of coverage. Keep reading →

This is one in a series of articles highlighting Breaking Gov’s best stories of the past year. As we reflected on our 2011 coverage of innovation, technology and management amongst the federal agencies and workforce, this was among the stories that stood out as delivering key insight into the top issues facing today’s government community.

Breaking Gov is proud to have focused on innovation and innovators in the government space and, in doing so, accumulating many celebrity-level contributors since launch. The list includes more than 40 government industry experts as well as Internet co-creator Vint Cerf. In Cerf’s piece, he argues that discontent, the ability to fail, and the environment where managers can say “yes” are among the key ingredients for leaders to foster innovation in government. Keep reading →

A transportation planner with the Federal Highway Administration was awarded the grand prize, including a $50,000 check, for submitting the best overall idea, among more than 1,000 entries, on how to use informaltion technology to improve the quality of government.

Aung Gye took the top prize for suggesting that the U.S. could minimize the need to acquire new vehicles and equipment by developing a nationwide interactive data base that would track underutilized assets including office space, conference rooms, automobiles and other equipment. Keep reading →

Internet co-creator Vint Cerf argues that discontent, the ability to fail, and the environment where managers can say “yes” are among the key ingredients for leaders to foster innovation in government.

Let me start by making an observation: Progress doesn’t happen unless somebody is discontented. Keep reading →