Apple and Facebook pose a great threat to Internet freedom according to Sergey Brin

Apple and Facebook pose a great threat to Internet freedom according to Sergey Brin
Google co-founder Sergey Brin sat down with The Guardian to discuss threats to web freedom. While he cited threats such as the attempts at censorship and restricted use of the Internet from countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran and attempts by the entertainment industry to block sites offering pirated material as the most concerning, there is another source that is causing Brin great concern.

Brin said that there are “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open Internet on all sides and around the world". "I am more worried than I have been in the past," he said. "It's scary.

Specifically, Brin notes that one of those forces is the rise of restrictive walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple. Brin feels that companies, particularly Apple and Facebook, which use proprietary platforms and control user access, will stifle innovation and “balkanize” the web.

Brin also points out that that search engines are not able to acquire information from these sources. "There's a lot to be lost," he said. "For example, all the information in apps – that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can't search it."

Some may criticize Brin’s comments because not only are his points potential threats against Internet freedom, but they are also threats to a variety of Google’s revenue streams, such as its search engine’s effectiveness and competition to its Android mobile platform from Apple.

When asked about people’s privacy concerns regarding Google and its history of releasing data to US authorities, Brin responded, “We push back a lot; 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 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."

source: TheGuardian



32. Borrie69

Posts: 32; Member since: Jan 14, 2012

Facebook is the new Myspace. It's degration rate is faster then that of Myspace, I hope and pray that Google+ does not get like that in the near future.

28. rudlie

Posts: 205; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

A sign of disability from google. Since Facebook and Apple leading the market, google is start loosing the domination of market. Advertisement profit reduced, even their search engine because Facebook search become popular and Siri doesn't using google search. Google ambition to monopolized internet now has a threat.

24. strikercho

Posts: 156; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Bhahahaha! Mr. Ser-G-a-y, please do what you do best and do not make a laughing stock of you.

23. stealthd unregistered

Once again, Google is equating itself with the Internet. If it doesn't play nice with a Google service it must be bad for the Internet. Funny how they never complained about the huge walled garden of Flash content...

19. StalkinUrMom

Posts: 111; Member since: Apr 16, 2012

F*** Facebook, there's no freaking privacy now. Timeline makes it so easy for people to see everything you post and there's no way to delete the notification that lets them know. I'm reluctant to go and be nerdy on some of the the tech pages now 'cause my friends like to troll me over how nerdy I am.

12. shadowcell

Posts: 300; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

I've been hearing the same song for years ever since Google came under scrutiny for the same exact reasons. As long as we have a governmental backing (that's not over zealous with power) to secure our financial and personal information then we can indeed enjoy free services such as social networking and networking sites. Point in fact, nothing in life is free.

11. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Facebook blocked me for 2days from adding my own mates.

9. eaxvac

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

Come on if you sell apples of course you will say great things about apple, or orange perhaps (For the Apple company haters) There's always something that he tries to hide and poke when making statements like this.

8. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

I agree as I think the future should lie more so in a way to search through all the massive amounts of data we create or collect and not do that through just one specific closed source. The walled garden is not something I am a fan of when it comes to Apple and Facebook is simply a factor of the times. Roaming through what we create without having to sign into a specific system from one provider should be how we grow in the future.

7. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

i dont understand you people and your fear of privacy really i can understand your bank info and such but people scared because google or apple knows your location get over were tracking bigger fish baby come join the corp and you will see

6. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

meanwhile... come on over to google plus!!! too bad every app we download from android or apple asks for access to some if not all of our data... so whether you want it out there or not... IT ALREADY IS!!! just try your best to view all settings, options, and privacy info to lock down as much as you can...

3. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

I hate Facebook really, its become nothing but full of annoying girls and people who update their statuses every minute like its Twitter. I find G+ a much better alternative right now but not everyone is over there and not everyone wants to be bothered to use another social network.

4. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

But also if you don't use Facebook you become virtually non existent.

34. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

OMG! I'm non existing... :o

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I am so glad I don't mess with BOTH Apple & Facebook. I just have my Samsung Galaxy Nexus & I blocked all of Google's new privacy agreements so I feel OK. I also don't mess with the cloud. These are technologies that in the wrong hands can hinder lots & lots of people heck, millions and millions of people. I don't want my stuff out there at all.

17. robinrisk unregistered

SAE, the new privacy agreement does not bring anything new but the fact that the data is unified across all of google services. Before, you had the data separated, now they are together. They have the same amount of data. It was an issue blown up by the media. They even explained it on a link on the privacy site, that explained it in layman's terms.

18. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

That is so right, but Google gives me the ability to say no to their new privacy agreement. So I can surf the web & use my phone in peace. I don't have to worry about big brother! lol +1 to you!

21. robinrisk unregistered


33. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

100% Agree! +1

1. ilia1986 unregistered

I completely agree. Facebook has become sh!t, and the only reason I stay there is because everyone else does. Apple has been.. well we really know everyhing about how one does not mix the words "Apple" and "Freedom" in a single sentence, right?

5. eaxvac

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

Lmao are you joking? Ironically Google is having their own Google plus service that is not crawable by search engines too.

10. ilia1986 unregistered

Google plus doesn't have timeline.. nuff said

13. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

illia look me up in facebook... request me

25. JeffdaBeat unregistered

So, I imagine I'm going to get voted down, but I hope we can at least discuss this a bit. I think it's quite funny that Google feels that way about Facebook when, especially since Google+ is yet another way for Google to put ads in your face. I mean, that's what it's all about. Facebook isn't free. Sure, you connect with people, but you pay by the amount of ads that are offered to you. And these ads are customized to you because Facebook has all of your social information. Google doesn't and they created Google+ as a remedy for that. We can say Facebook is crap all we want, but no one can deny that Google wants to eat the same Apple Pie. Don't say Facebook is a danger when your company is trying to go down the exact same path... And bringing Apple into the case...Apple is definitely a walled garden, but not in terms of the all. Apple tries to get their users to only find their tech solutions through Apple, but I've never seen them make a single move to isolate anyone from the internet. In fact, they had it out with AT&T about not limiting the internet for iPhone users. AT&T responded with tiered pricing. Now, I do agree that Apps don't exact promote the exploration and discovery of segments of the internet, but you can't blame that on Apple. The economy side, yes...the actual Now, let's go back to Google in 2010 when they and Verizon came to an agreement on their stance on Net Neutrality. Here's my favorite portion... "Wireless broadband. Possibly the most important provision of the entire agreement, and the biggest compromise. Under Verizon and Google's plan, wireless networks would be excused from every provision except the transparency requirement. Why? Because of the "unique technical and operational characteristics of wireless networks," of course. Or... perhaps because Google has an interest in allowing Verizon to do whatever it wants with traffic on its Android-dominated wireless network. Either way, it's hard to reconcile the stated need for net neutrality in this agreement with a giant exception for wireless networks, which are quickly becoming the most important networks of all. We'll have to see how the fight over this provision shakes out." So Google is okay with your home internet being open and free...but not on your phone...which is slowly becoming the way folks surf the web. So yeah...before we start talking about Apple and Facebook...let's look at Google first. And before you thumb me least think about what I said.

26. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

jeff i agree… i think this was largely a publicity stunt… apple probably did not need to be included as they do little more than supply the internet to more people.. they have very few control over the actual internet… and facebook doesnt do much more than waste time… he should attack foreign governments and places that actually censor the internet rather than trying to tarnish his biggest competitors… and his little bit on bypassing US law? seriously? move out of america if its to tough… US law is what allowed him to make the company in the first place… i dont doubt that there are vague threats to the internet, but i dont think they come from facebook or apple… and he might as well check out his own products before bashing others…

27. JeffdaBeat unregistered

If anything, the government threatens the internet...Google should be attacking them...but I guess we will leave that to Anonymous...

29. shayan

Posts: 159; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

you missed his point, inteeedom is not about who has more information. it is about the way we use it. right now, people are mostly surf the internet with their phones or tablet. and a vast majority of them use the internet to check their facebook. wich has an app. a proprietary app, that doesnt use open protocals of internet such as html. and I think every site that is in a top 10 list of sites that people surf the most has an app for that. and apple with its iOS is hughly responsble for growth of proprietary internet, despite jobs effort to push html5. It realy is like when rechard stalman ( if I recall his name corectly) started opensource reveloution. nothing wrong with windows, but linux is where inovation leads.

14. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

It is very important people understand that once a strangle hold takes place from two or five companies.... it is Their rules.... and we the USERS get the short end of the stick. Once liberties are taken, it is always harder to reinstate them than it would have been to protect them in the first place.

15. robinrisk unregistered

Come on! He talked about GOVERNMENTS, RIAA, Legislators and on a ideline, he mentioned Apple and Facebook. That's what you get from someone saying that there's forces threatening the internet? They got out of China because of pressure to censor and control the internet, SOPA, PIPA, and other bills around the globe. This accumulation of entities trying to censor and control the itnernet has not been felt before, and he was tlking about that. Apple and Facebook were a sidenote, but all you got was "I want to Search Facebook and Apple".

16. ilia1986 unregistered

Well we can't really delete our profile in our respective intern department, now can we? Yes, Sopa, Pipa, etc etc are 4000000% more evil than Apple or Facebook. But let's look at Apple here for a minute. What do you think would be Apple's stance on these? Against? Think again. Apple would have endorsed Pipa, Sopa and any other **pa you can think of in their insane quest to control all and everything.

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