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Google co-founder Sergey Brin  (Source:
Google couldn't have been created on a Web dominated by Facebook, said Google co-founder Sergey Brin; company pays $25,000 fine

Google is worried about the future of the internet, saying that governments and major sites like Facebook are killing the open nature of the web. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has caught Google doing some naughty activities on the internet as well.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently shared his feelings on the current and future state of the internet. He believes freedom and openness on the web is being threatened now more than ever by governments around the world, the entertainment industry, and huge companies like Facebook and Apple.

"I am more worried than I have been in the past," said Brin. "It's scary."

Brin said governments around the globe are trying to restrict and control the access their citizens have on the internet. He namely sees China, Iran and Saudi Arabia as the worst offenders, which is why Google partially pulled out of China in 2010. Concerns over cyber attacks and censorship made the search giant uneasy.

But world governments are not the only ones killing the Internet. According to Brin, tech giants Facebook and Apple have such tightly controlled and proprietary platforms that innovation outside of their reach is nearly impossible.

In fact, Brin said that he and Google co-founder Larry Page would have never been able to create their Google search empire if Facebook had dominated the Internet back then.

"You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive," said Brin. "The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the Web was so open. Once you get too many rules, that will stifle innovation."

More specifically, Brin mentioned that Facebook fails to make it easy for users to switch their data to other services.

"Facebook has been sucking down Gmail contacts for many years," said Brin.

Facebook, which has over 800 million users around the world now, is preparing for its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) valued at $75 billion to $100 billion.

Despite Brin's comments, some are pointing fingers at Google as well, saying that their data is in the hands of the U.S. government because it's on Google's servers. The government even occasionally asks for data from Google.

"We push back a lot," said Brin. "We are able to turn down a lot of these requests. We do everything possible to protect the data. If we could wave a magic wand and not be subject to U.S. law, that would be great. If we could be in some magical jurisdiction that everyone in the world trusted, that would be great. We're doing it as well as can be done."

That magic wand could have come in handy last Friday, as the FCC fined Google $25,000 USD for collecting personal information from users without their consent while launching its Street View project. This particular project allowed Google to collect certain information from W-Fi networks from May 2007 to May 2010. However, Google ended up collecting unnecessary information as well such as passwords and Internet history.

The FCC said Google has not been cooperating with it during this matter. Google has reportedly protected employees and emails from the investigation. Google disagreed, saying it has provided everything necessary. However, it's still stuck with a $25,000 fine.

Sources: Reuters, The Guardian

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By kingmotley on 4/16/2012 11:15:07 AM , Rating: 5
$25,000 fine, that will teach them. I'm sure they won't be trying to do that anymore.

RE: $25,000??
By kattanna on 4/16/2012 11:44:40 AM , Rating: 1
LOL yep.. they would lose more money with an accounting rounding error then this so called fine.

RE: $25,000??
By TSS on 4/16/2012 3:31:44 PM , Rating: 2

Oh look, google made another $25,000. Probably more.

RE: $25,000??
By Trisped on 4/16/2012 6:41:53 PM , Rating: 2
Won't try what, wandering around listening to what people are shouting from their roof tops?

It is extremely simple, if you have a wireless network (WiFi) and that network is not secured, everything you do on that network is broadcast to everyone in range.

In short, it is like getting up on the roof of your house and shouting everything you are doing on your network. I do not know about where you live, but where I live if someone was to do that and I was to record their shouting it would not be a crime because the individual was making the information public.

By Gondor on 4/16/2012 11:49:38 AM , Rating: 3
Pot calling the kettle black. I don't approve of either company harvesting so much personal information and then data-mining through it and reselling it to advertisers (and who knows whom else ... governmental agencies are probably their good customers).

By GotThumbs on 4/16/2012 3:28:06 PM , Rating: 1
I'd say the big difference is... Google pulls this kind of information in a somewhat open and passive approach. Facebook gets it directly from its collective...that's every dope within its system. and yet Facebook holds this data for the highest bidder. If its posted on the web...its global. FB is NOT your friend. It's a business just like AOL was...and how Google somewhat resembles. Google does NOT restrict what resources you can use. Apple and FB do.

In the end...I don't use FB or Apple products, so I really couldn't care less about the consequences of those who do use them. Mindless Zombies who are quick to follow.

By someguy123 on 4/16/2012 7:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
Problem with this mentality is majority rule. Eventually most of the public will see the internet as nothing more than a public playground (if this hasn't already happened) rather than a means of information distribution. At that point they couldn't care less about how restricted for "security" purposes, as long as they're able to still access facebook and netflix. If the public doesn't understand the value, big government will have no trouble taking the freedom away.

By MaulBall789 on 4/17/2012 8:06:38 AM , Rating: 2
And yet, using the Safari web browser on my iPad, there's a Google search window in the upper right hand corner, not restricting it's search of the internet. It brings up all the same results as a search on my Windows devices.

Facebook, they display what you give them. Simple as that.

Why are we ALL mindless zombies then?

Oh give me a break
By tayb on 4/16/2012 12:12:06 PM , Rating: 3
It's okay for you to steal my data, delete apps from my phone, read my emails, store my location information, etc but it's not okay for FB to be "closed." Give me a break.

RE: Oh give me a break
By GotThumbs on 4/16/2012 3:31:08 PM , Rating: 3
They DON'T steal your data. Its you who has not secured it. If you have an unsecured wireless router and your neighbor connects to it...its NOT your giving it away. Just as if your tv was view-able from your's not stealing if the neighborhood stands out and watches it.

Don't be so naive.

By kenyee on 4/16/2012 11:18:06 AM , Rating: 4
Anyone remember the Monica Lewinsky scandal?
It spread like wildfire on the interweb...first thing out of Hillary's mouth: "can't we stop this from spreading on the Internet?"

They already control most of the media outlets. And governments like Syria have learned that controlling the interweb will cripple a group's organizational abilities.
It is indeed getting Big Brotherish...

By HrilL on 4/16/2012 1:56:40 PM , Rating: 3
leave it to Tiffany Kaiser, to leave out all the details just like many of the other writers on this site. Like the fact that both the FTC and FCC both ruled the data collection to be legal because it was unencrypted data. The bias or lack of proving the full truth/history of a story here at Dailytech is truely disappointing. Over the last year or so it has been getting worse and worse.

Someone is jealous
By ricardonest on 4/16/2012 5:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about you, but it just sounds like Google is jealous of Facebook. Google has way more intangible equity than Facebook (, so Google why not continue innovating instead of worrying about what Facebook is doing and how you think they are killing the open web.

google = be evil
By chromal on 4/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: google = be evil
By Etsp on 4/16/2012 11:31:22 AM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry, but how is personalizing search results 'evil'? How is integrating your search results with social media sites 'evil'?

Step 1: Personalize Search Results
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Be evil!

RE: google = be evil
By leviathan05 on 4/16/2012 11:47:49 AM , Rating: 2
Frankly I would have to agree that there is no evil intent behind personalized search results. I love that when I look up a store Google instantly maps the closest locations to me. It also give me much more relevant information based on my search history. You see evil, I see helpful.

RE: google = be evil
By chromal on 4/16/2012 12:35:32 PM , Rating: 3
You're just thinking of it wrong. It isn't personalization, it's a third party gathering and storing information about you that is, frankly, none of the goddamned business. I'll "personalize" my search results by "personalizing" my search terms, TYVM.

RE: google = be evil
By leviathan05 on 4/16/2012 12:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
Still doesn't equate to being "evil", even if you don't like the practice.

RE: google = be evil
By chromal on 4/16/2012 2:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it sure as hell isn't "good," so, what are you arguing? That we call it "morally ambiguous" ?

RE: google = be evil
By TSS on 4/16/2012 3:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
That's exactly what it is. What most things are too. Just because it can be used for evil, doesn't mean it is being used for evil.

Collecting and storing information about your search results isn't good or bad in itself. Using that information to increase the likelyhood that you get more revelant results based on your search history, isn't bad. It's actually good, as it will provide you with a better quality of service. Selling that information to 3rd parties for targeted advertisements... not so good. Though i can't say increasing the quality of ads is a bad thing either, i'm ok with never having to see another womans hygene product at dinner time.

However the reason people are always up in arms is for the potential abuse of said information. That does not mean it is abused.

But i ask you, where is the proof that google abuses that personal information? Where did they not comply with the laws about such information, and recieved a fine appropriate to the severity of that crime (hundreds of millions, not a couple of thousands for probably a wrong line of code). If google is evil, it is no more evil then the laws allow it to be, and i continue to use it because i feel google would comply with the laws where they tightened. And they have shown to resist bad laws where ever possible (though as with china, they do eventually back off).

I'd be more upset with the lawmakers who allow such evil, rather then the companies.

RE: google = be evil
By GotThumbs on 4/16/2012 3:33:10 PM , Rating: 1
Easy solution. Use a different search provider.

Stop bitching about something you can easily resolve.

Frigging American child-man.

RE: google = be evil
By chromal on 4/16/12, Rating: 0
RE: google = be evil
By sprockkets on 4/17/2012 12:56:11 AM , Rating: 2
You know, you can always use Google without logging in. They can't log anything without an account to tie it too. You don't even need cookies.

Sheesh, there are so many stupid retards on the internet. You act as if crawling the web with thousands of servers costs nothing in hardware and bandwidth, that a search engine can just magically power itself.

Do you really think there is a human in Google's server room looking at you? Seriously? With millions using them and billions of queries, you really think they will be able to look, at you?

Google please stop whining
By Tony Swash on 4/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: Google please stop whining
By sprockkets on 4/17/2012 12:49:52 AM , Rating: 2
And whose the dumbass who brought up the a word when this article has NOTHING to do with it?

That's right, our favorite dumb ass *****troll.

Actually the only reason I posted this is because I accidentally rated the wrong person down lol

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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