Sergey Brin: I'm Worried About the Internet

Mashable

View photo

.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin is worried about the future of the internet. There are "very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world," he said in an interview with The Guardian.

According to Brin, one of the biggest threats to the openness of the internet is pressure from governments, which are trying to control the information flow on the internet.

[More from Mashable: Google Doodle Pays Homage to Street Photographer Robert Doisneau]

The overzealous entertainment industry, which is trying to end piracy, is another threat, and walled gardens raised by companies such as Facebook and Apple, which control what software can be released on their platforms, is equally dangerous, claims Brin.

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

[More from Mashable: Google’s Amazing Growth, By The Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]]

Brin specifically targets Facebook for its unwillingness to share its users' data with others, claiming it would be impossible to create a company like Google if the internet was dominated by Facebook. "You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive," he said.

Brin is directly criticizing Google's competitors here, but he's in a unique position.

On one hand, Google famously pulled out most of its operations in China in the name of free speech in January 2010. Furthemore, Google's Android mobile platform is open-source, in contrast of Apple's closed and proprietary iOS platform.

On the other, Google itself has often been criticized due to privacy concerns, which prompted the company to release a new, unified privacy policy in February 2012. Google owns a lot of private data about its users, and has at times been forced to hand it to the U.S. authorities.

"We do everything possible to protect the data. If we could wave a magic wand and not be subject to US 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," claims Brin.

What do you think: Is Google one of those "powerful forces" lined up against the open internet, or is it one of the good guys? Or is the truth somewhere in between? Share your opinions in the comments.

This story originally published on Mashable here.

View Comments (295)