Google Co-Founder Attacks Gov., Facebook for Ruining Internet Freedom
April 16, 2012 10:45 AM
Google co-founder Sergey Brin
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."
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.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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