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Sergey Brin Says Facebook, Apple and Gov't Biggest Threats To Internet Freedom 500

Posted by samzenpus
from the everyone-but-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google co-founder Sergey Brin has listed three threats to Internet freedom: Facebook, Apple, and governments that censor their citizens. Brin's comments were made to The Guardian: 'The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.'"
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Sergey Brin Says Facebook, Apple and Gov't Biggest Threats To Internet Freedom

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  • Re:No shit sherlock (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:48PM (#39696375)

    >> Should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.

    What, does intuitively mean listening to your gut? I guess you've gotta be pretty casual to observe it, then.

        >> Apple is worse than Microsoft ever was. And I am no fan of Microsoft.

    Obviously you don't know much about Microsoft, especially the current stuff. And you seem to know too much about Apple, especially the disinformation campaign stuff, aka the Swift Boat version of Apple. Reality is much more flavorful, you should try it sometime.

  • Out of context (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:59PM (#39696451)

    The summary is a summary of a ZDnet summation of a Guardian article.

    If you actually read the Guardian article, the three things Brin lists as threats are:

    • Government control
    • Piracy crackdown
    • Walled-garden platforms

    He gives Apple and Facebook as examples of the third. Which the sensationalist media (including slashdot) twist around to try and incite a frenzy of condemnation.

    The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:09PM (#39696521) Homepage

    Not to mention that Android is officially endorsed by the Chinese government as its mobile platform of choice (customized as Open Mobile System). You know, the government that has political opposition jailed, censors the Internet, and spies on its citizens in a way that makes the NSA look modest.

    You had a reasonable post, and then you crashed it with a big, ugly association fallacy.

    China chooses Android because it's OSS, meaning they can change it to their liking, just like they did with Red Flag Linux. Claiming Google is a threat because of that is ridiculous. Is Torvalds evil too? China uses his kernel!

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:20PM (#39696577)
    This, perhaps:

    http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.network.tor.devel/1099 [gmane.org]

    One of the replies points to the non-technical problem with Tor on iOS, which is that Apple rejected it from the App Store as being a "proxy or circumvention tool." This is not terribly surprising, of course: Apple would not want to anger governments by shipping a platform that allows iOS users to evade national firewalls.
  • by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:07PM (#39696823)

    the monopoly is accountable to you through your vote. it is an extension of your will, not an imposition of an alien will on you

    Pull the other one.

    in fact, if you were to remove the monopoly, there would be no absence of monopoly, the merchant would merely fill the power vacuum, and he isn't accountable to you. he's accountable to the quest for more profits, at any cost, including the raping of your freedom. then he buys the guns and points them at you:

    Right. The FBI can never go bankrupt, and the monopolistic coercive government of which it is a part can certainly destroy the merchant at any time. See Lehman Bros and the old AT&T for just a few of many examples.

    Go ahead. Pull the other one. You haven't made any sense yet.

  • by Alex Zepeda (10955) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:19PM (#39696897)

    Google is just as walled as Facebook if not more so. The real name policy for Google Plus comes to mind, especially as Google has forced integration with all of its other services. Hell, I was served with a threatening e-mail for not using my real name... and I don't even have a Google Plus account. Given that plenty of places will use your Google credentials for authentication I'm no quite sure how this is so different from Facebook.

  • Re:No shit sherlock (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gumbercules!! (1158841) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:36PM (#39696973)
    Let me summarise your piece here:

    1. Microsoft & Bill Gates have no imagination and style. They make crappy products and only care about your money. (Almost a line verbatim from The Saviour(TM) himself).
    2. Apple is wonderful and has the soul of Woz.
    3. People who install Linux and install "the baby distro" (which is what, exactly? Some super easy to use Linux distro that does everything for you and doesn't need a CLI ever - coz that would be wonderful for the year of the linux desktop) are idiots.
    4. People who follow HOWTOS are not smart.
    5. Dell are ugly and Apple are beautiful.

    Either you're a complete fanboy or you work for Apple marketing or are you just out of touch completely.

    Apple hasn't had the soul of Woz since the early 80's. You might not have noticed but Apple is very, very concerned with making money and very, very concerned with not letting people "hack" their devices. They go out of their way to make jailbreaking difficult and every update tries to re-imprison jailbroken phones. Apple are in no way hacker friendly. Not even a little bit. Apple has the soul of Steve Jobs and if Bill Gates had no imagination and only cared about money then Steve Jobs had dreams only of destroying competition and being a total control freak.

    I'm typing this on my MBA, btw. I'm not an Apple hater - but you're living in a dream world if you genuinely believe what you wrote above.

    A Dell Inspiron is comparable to an iMac. A whitebox from your local PC shop is comparable to an iMac. All home computers are comparable to an iMac - that's why they're in competition with one another and that's why the iMac doesn't sell anywhere near as many as the Dells and the Whiteboxes.

    The reason Apple is kicking arse right now is because they're selling completely (to the masses) unhackable appliance fashion devices, like iPods, iPhone and iPads - not because Apple Computer sales are up because they're still not really any higher than they've ever been.
  • Re:No shit sherlock (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:19PM (#39697145)

    Apple pushes for standards? No, not really. For example, they're the only browser maker that does not employ _anyone_ to work on CSS specs. Google, Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla all have employees doing so. Apple? Not so much.

    Also, Apple is explicitly refusing to submit things like -webkit-text-size-adjust for standardization (they claim it's their "proprietary technology"),.

    Oh, and the little bit about waiting until touch events were just about standardized in the W3C (without Apple's involvement, because they chose to not join the working group), then declare they have patents on the standard as written and they refuse to license them. Had they joined the working group, they would have had to disclose this much earlier in the
    process, but it's in Apple's interest to have touch events working better in iOS than in web pages, so people create iOS-specific content and not HTML that works on all devices.

    Apple does have people working on CSS standards. They also have people working to patent the implementations to those standards too (pay attention to the patent applications--there's a surprise coming in the next six months or so).

  • Re:No shit sherlock (Score:5, Informative)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Monday April 16, 2012 @12:16AM (#39697591) Journal
    At its roots, WebKit is actually KHTML, part of KDE. It's a derivative of a GLP-licensed product. De-facto, it is *not* Apple's renderer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2012 @01:40AM (#39697969)

    Greece can go bankrupt because it is in the Eurozone and not in direct control of its own money supply. The U.S. can avoid bankruptcy by simply printing more dollars. That has ill effects, but it is not going bankrupt.

    California could go bankrupt, but the FBI never will.

    Simply printing new Dollars continuesly can get you in the 20000%+ inflationzone quite fast. And then you will be bankrupt anyway.

  • Re:No shit sherlock (Score:5, Informative)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Monday April 16, 2012 @03:10AM (#39698215) Homepage

    Webkit isn't Apple's project. WebKit was around for years before Safari came about - since 1998, when KHTML was released. It wasn't called WebKit until Apple forked it.

    Yeah, that's right. It's successful because it forked from an Open Source project.

    Ironically, Safari has always managed to languish behind the other WebKit based browsers in terms of actual functionality. Word has it that WebKit2 will likely just be a backport of features which have been in Chrome for some time...

  • by Karlt1 (231423) on Monday April 16, 2012 @11:27AM (#39700443)

    It's the same mindset that believed Steve's FUD when he blamed publishers for DRM in iTunes, saying he wanted rid of it but they just wouldn't let him, despite the fact his competitors like Amazon and eMusic at the time despite having much smaller stores and much less clout managed to get DRM free contracts from the publishers no problem.

    A little history lesson....

    1. When the iTunes store was first introduced, there was no way to buy individual songs from mainstream artist per song that you could basically burn to CD. Even Bill Gates said in emails that came out during trial how impressed he was at SJ's ability to negotiate such lenient restrictions.

    2. The industry wanted Apple to license FairPlay to other manufacturers. Apple said no. Instead, if they were allowed to by the music companies, they would sale their music without DRM if allowed and there wouldn't be an interoperability problem. (January 2007 Steve Jobs "Thoughts on Music");

    This was original posted on the front page of Apple.com
    http://macdailynews.com/2007/02/06/apple_ceo_steve_jobs_posts_rare_open_letter_thoughts_on_music/ [macdailynews.com]

    3, The music industry wanted variable prices (i.e. higher prices). Apple refused. In return, the music industry except for EMI and some independents refused to allow DRM free music.

    4. Slashdot Wisdom (sic) was that Apple never intended to sale DRM free music or license FairPlay and they were waiting to call Apple's bluff.

    5. Apple started selling DRM free music from EMI *before* Amazon music store came online.

    6. Apple started selling the iPhone but was not allowed to sell over the cellular network without a new license. The music industry refused because Apple wouldn't sell at variable prices.

    7. The music industry started letting everyone else sell DRM free music to break Apple's monopoly -- it didn't work (around August 2007).

    8. Apple wanted to be able to sale music via the cell network so they caved to the variable pricing.

    it was about making sure that when the non user replaceable battery in your iPad ran out after 18 months to 2 years you couldn't fuck off to a competitor with your content very easily, no you had to buy Apple again.

    Do you realize how many Android phones and tablets are now coming with non-removable batteries?

    With Apple it's always about control, DRM in iTunes was entirely about control, it was about making sure that when the non user replaceable battery in your iPad ran out after 18 months to 2 years you couldn't fuck off to a competitor with your content very easily, no you had to buy Apple again.

    Which "content"? Apple been selling DRM free music for four years. How do you propose running even a non-DRM'd app compiled for iOS on another device?

    Who sells non-DRM'd mainstream video?

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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