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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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  • Wait a minute! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by readandburn (825014) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:38PM (#39696311)
    Those just happen to be his competitors! What a crazy coincidence!
    • glass houses (Score:5, Insightful)

      by noh8rz3 (2593935) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:44PM (#39696351)
      i would add an additional item, and move it to the top of the list - companies that aim to track everything you do and aggregate that in one place. you could also add the gov't agencies that collude with them to track citizens. This would put FB and Goog tied at the top of the list. Not sure who is first, but they're both trying.
      • The FBI has guns (Score:5, Insightful)

        by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:53PM (#39696405)

        Not to put too fine a point on it, but a coercive monopoly with guns is far worse than a mere merchant with a huge market share.

        • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:22PM (#39696601)

          Not to put too fine a point on it, but a coercive monopoly with guns is far worse than a mere merchant with a huge market share.

          So when Apple starts selling the iGun, we should all be very afraid?

        • 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

          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:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinkerton_Government_Services,_Inc [wikipedia.org].

          Pinkerton's agents performed services ranging from security guarding to private military contracting work. At its height, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more agents than there were members of the standing army of the United States of America, causing the state of Ohio to outlaw the agency due to fears it could be hired as a private army or militia.[citation needed] Pinkerton was the largest private law enforcement organization in the world at the height of its power.[2]
          During the labor unrest of the late 19th century and early 20th century, businessmen hired the Pinkerton Agency to provide agents that would infiltrate unions, to supply guards to keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, and sometimes to recruit goon squads to intimidate workers. The best known such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to enforce the strikebreaking measures of Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie, who was abroad; the ensuing conflicts between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to several deaths on both sides. The Pinkertons were also used as guards in coal, iron, and lumber disputes in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania, as well as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.

          for the modern parable, see blackwater. what would blackwater become with no government already in place? the police, accountable to the corporation, not to you, which your real police department is

          so your opinions and your views are illogical and historically wrong. they speak of a propagandized individual (corporate funded propaganda like fox news, the real threat to your freedom, not your government, which you VOTE for)

          of course, where your government doesn't represent your will, it is because it is bought out by... corporate financial interests

          heal YOUR government by removing the corporate infection, and understand the real threat to your freedom: the merchant you allude to

          but make YOUR government your enemy, and see the corporate financial interests as harmless, and you are basically giving away your own hard won freedoms won by your forefathers (see pinkerton's above) to forces which have no interest in your freedoms at all, especially when your freedoms represent a threat to bottom line. then hiring goon sqwuads, with no government around to stop them, makes perfect capitalistic sense

          there is your daily dose of anti-propaganda, i hope you aren't kneejerking too much right now

          • by Fjandr (66656) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:15PM (#39697123) Homepage Journal

            A vote alone, without quantity to back it up, is worthless. The larger the system, the more the "accountability" you speak of is relegated to existence only in theory.

            • the people vote. that vote, the will of the people, expressed in aggregate, is what the policy of the government should be. what about that do you not understand? what about that concept is somehow not enough for you?

              you call this "theory"?!

              it's called DEMOCRACY

              LOL

              i don't get it

              • by joocemann (1273720) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:26PM (#39697441)

                Its a theory because the wants of the citizens of the democracy are not heeded, though businesses can influence government without voting.

                The metals lobby that keeps the penny in circulation despite massive public disapproval, is the tantamount example of the power of lobbies to distort democracy.... that is taught in polsci 101. Yes, its a theory. SOPA 2.0 or 3.0 will not have the popular oversight that 1.0 had, and when our reps know we disagree but arent looking, they will pass it for the lobbies.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by TheLink (130905)
              Just because 100 million others disagree with you doesn't mean the system isn't working properly. The 100 million could be wrong, but that's Democracy for you. It's a better system than in North Korea where the Dictator and his Generals are the only ones with "votes".

              Democracy sucks but it's better than the alternatives. You don't like how the 100 million are voting, you and others like you should try to convince/educate the 100 million.

              If you think all the candidates are bad, you can be a candidate. If you
        • by thoughtlover (83833) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:32PM (#39697209)

          Not to put too fine a point on it, but a coercive monopoly with guns is far worse than a mere merchant with a huge market share.

          Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. Thomas Jefferson

          I'd have to say that money has more power than guns ever will. When Facebook moved their HQ to Dublin so they could get better tax breaks, who were they telling to FO ?

        • by The Evil Atheist (2484676) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:58PM (#39697315) Homepage

          Not to put too fine a point on it, but a coercive monopoly with guns is far worse than a mere merchant with a huge market share.

          This is a stupid libertarian slogan. Merchants are the ones who gets laws passed to infringe on our rights without any guns. Merchants are the ones who screw up the economy and get away with it. Merchants are the ones with the money and political influence who control the government. If the gun-toting government were gone tomorrow, who do you think would arm themselves first and heaviest?

          You know what? I prefer to be able to have a coercive monopoly that's within my control (which I'll happily pay a small percentage of) so that I don't have to face a coercive monopoly who can kill society without guns.

          Libertarians are idiots.

          • by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Monday April 16, 2012 @01:18AM (#39698091)

            Libertarians are not the enemy of anyone except Big Brother. Their whole mantra is to leave people to their own devices.

            You seem to think Big Business and Big Government are enemies of each other. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are the same, differing only in tiny squabbles which distract voters. The last thing either wants is for people to actually run their own lives and take the corporations to task.

            If you actually think the coercive monopoly is going to use their guns to help people battle merchants, you are living in some weird alternate dream world. The only merchants who get in trouble are the few who don't go along with the other merchants and their government buddies.

            That's the weirdest thing about Occupy Wall Street. They identify half the problem, corporations out of control, but then they refuse to see the other half, which is Big Brother actively assisting them. They are one and the same, and the government will never do anything to the 1% just because a few 99% rabble camp out in parks and shout for the government to come rescue them. Only individuals taking charge and upsetting BOTH Big Government and Big Business will solve anything.

            • by The Evil Atheist (2484676) on Monday April 16, 2012 @02:20AM (#39698249) Homepage

              Libertarians are not the enemy of anyone except Big Brother. Their whole mantra is to leave people to their own devices.

              You seem to think Big Business and Big Government are enemies of each other. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They are the same, differing only in tiny squabbles which distract voters. The last thing either wants is for people to actually run their own lives and take the corporations to task.

              I never said Big Business and Big Government are enemies of each other.

              If you actually think the coercive monopoly is going to use their guns to help people battle merchants, you are living in some weird alternate dream world.

              And if you think that won't happen if the government disappears tomorrow, you're an idiot.

              That's the weirdest thing about Occupy Wall Street. They identify half the problem, corporations out of control, but then they refuse to see the other half, which is Big Brother actively assisting them. They are one and the same, and the government will never do anything to the 1% just because a few 99% rabble camp out in parks and shout for the government to come rescue them. Only individuals taking charge and upsetting BOTH Big Government and Big Business will solve anything.

              Note that none of what you said here actually opposes what I ACTUALLY said. What I was responding to was the stupid idea that a person could prefer Big Business rather than Big Government, when they are basically the same. That was my point, but you completely missed it so you can rant about Occupy Wall Street.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          I don't know about that. Sorry i can't remember the quote exactly or whom it was from but it went along the lines of "Give me two sentences written by a truly innocent man and I will find something with which to hang him" and with THAT much knowledge gathered frankly they could make anyone look like anything from a pervert to an idiot to a monster, just by leaving out pieces or removing context.

          In any case knowledge is power and having that much data about individuals controlled by a single company is fr

        • by sg_oneill (159032)

          Not to put too fine a point on it, but a coercive monopoly with guns is far worse than a mere merchant with a huge market share.

          Only ron paul can save us now!
          *floats away on a ron-paul blimp into happy lala land because after all who wouldn't want to live in a max max movie*

        • by Requiem18th (742389) on Monday April 16, 2012 @02:16AM (#39698235)

          I have always been amazed at this stupid "only the government counts" idea. A corporations can sue you for anything and drag the legal battle so long as to financially ruin you even if you are right. They can put you in some blacklist and make sure you never get a good job again. They can deny you credit and insurance. They have a million ways to make your life hell, and they can do it privately. They are unaccountable mini-dictatorships.

          It's insane to trust corporations with privilegues you wouldn't trust the government with.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't think it counts as "collusion" if information is given over due to a court order.

        The question, as always, is what is done with the information collected. Google says in their privacy policy that they do not share personal information to third parties without explicit opt-in consent. Note that this is a stronger condition than just advertisers. So what exactly is the issue?

        I don't know about Facebook's policies.

      • Re:glass houses (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:21PM (#39696599)

        Privacy and freedom are two different things.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Good point! Apple and Facebook are his competitors. But what's particularly interesting is that Microsoft did not even rate a mention. Maybe Google does not even consider Microsoft a competitor of note any more. Ballmer will be pissed. Great news for chair makers everywhere!

      • Re:Wait a minute! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:17PM (#39696885)

        Microsoft has, thus far, been relatively cooperative with Android. It did bring up patents, but not in an Oracle/Apple type "Trying to shut it down" sense, just trying to get royalties from hardware manufacturers.

        But Microsoft has actually produced a few software packages for Android, and shown no sign of wanting to shut it down. It's been a normal competitor from the point of view of competing products (such as Bing, Office Online, Office 365, etc) rather than a "Trying every dirty trick in the book" type thing.

        In short, Microsoft just isn't up there with Apple or Oracle.

    • Re:Wait a minute! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by detritus. (46421) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:17PM (#39696561)

      Yeah. Pot, meet Kettle.
      Google just hired the former head of DARPA.
      "Don't trust anyone but us!"

    • by forkfail (228161)

      I won't discard the possibility of business motivation.

      On the other hand, this is absolutely an ad hominem argument; it says nothing about what is being said, only about who is doing the saying.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by oizo (875964)
      Huston we have a problem with closed networks. Google cannot crawl, index and sell ads.
  • by wickerprints (1094741) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:44PM (#39696355)

    If Sergey Brin is lamenting Apple's restrictive iOS platform as a threat to internet freedom, then why not get to the root cause of that restrictiveness, which is malware? Spam and malware is a huge reason why companies and developers don't adopt an "anything goes" approach.

    Also, I find it highly ironic that he would point to other companies facilitating censorship by various governments, but then doesn't mention Microsoft or Google itself, which largely went along with China's censorship in order to gain market share. Furthermore, it's not as if Google makes me feel more free in terms of the information I have access too. If anything, I am constantly worried about what information they have about me, who they might allow to see that information, and whether I'm leaving a data trail on their servers that the FBI can issue a subpoena for without my knowledge. Google's ubiquity and interconnectedness across all of its services poses a risk to internet freedom through its ramifications on user privacy.

    So in short, Mr. Brin, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:59PM (#39696453) Journal
      Sergey's not got malware top of mind these days. They banished Windows from their network years ago.
    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:01PM (#39696469)

      If Sergey Brin is lamenting Apple's restrictive iOS platform as a threat to internet freedom, then why not get to the root cause of that restrictiveness, which is malware?

      Oh please, these apologies for Apple are getting tiresome. Apple did not lock down iOS to keep out malware, they did it so that they could remain in control of the products they sell people long after the sale is made. If this were about malware, why does Apple prevent apps that have absolutely no relation to malware from being in the app store? What the heck do political cartoons have to do with malware?

      The root cause is a complete lack of respect for users: a view that users are nothing more than exploitable sources of money that need to be controlled.

      • by steelfood (895457) on Monday April 16, 2012 @01:14AM (#39698087)

        The root cause is a complete lack of respect for users: a view that users are nothing more than exploitable sources of money that need to be controlled.

        These are two separate things. One does not follow the other.

        Personally, I tend to agree with the former sentiment. The problem exists between the keyboard and chair. Apple is attempting to remove or at least marginalize that problem.

        The latter I would disagree with. They don't necessarily (or have to) see users as exploitable sources of income. But they certainly are making tons of money as a result of this abusive but seemingly successful relationship. People don't have to give Apple money if they don't like the way they're treated. There are alternatives. Yet, they still do.

        Ultimately, Apple (Jobs, really) realized one fundamental sociological thing: Most people don't want freedom. It's too much for them to handle.

      • by Xest (935314) on Monday April 16, 2012 @03:53AM (#39698499)

        "Oh please, these apologies for Apple are getting tiresome. Apple did not lock down iOS to keep out malware, they did it so that they could remain in control of the products they sell people long after the sale is made."

        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.

        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.

        The only people that haven't figured out yet that Apple's entire business model is built around controlling what you do in an effort to influence what you buy each upgrade cycle, control what you pay, and manage who you pay from and who the money goes to are fanboys. The worst sort too - the ones who can't see the evidence glaring them right in the face.

        • by Karlt1 (231423) on Monday April 16, 2012 @10:27AM (#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?

    • by wickerprints (1094741) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:03PM (#39696493)

      Spelling error correction: "...information I have access to," not "too."

      Also, some context: I think it goes without saying that I do not use Facebook. I've gone so far as to block all their domains in my hosts file, not to mention put email filters on anything that even mentions it, so I don't get invites. I absolutely despise it, not to mention Zuckerberg's holier-than-thou attitude (e.g., "don't put it online if you want to keep it private"). I'm also no fan of Apple--while I like some of their products, it's mainly because it's not Microsoft or Google.

      The problem I have is that nobody's hands are clean. I would summarize various companies thusly:

      Microsoft: We became the only game in town because we bought out or threatened everybody else, but we've become bloated and hobbled by our own incompetence.
      Google: We'll talk your ear off about freedom and pledge to "do no evil," but underneath it all we're really just like everyone else, hellbent on world domination--but for your own good, of course!
      Apple: We want to deliver you the best user experience...on the backs of Chinese factory workers. And we know what you want better than you do, because we tell you what you want.
      Facebook: We exploit you and give you a half-hearted apology afterward.
      EA: We keep raping you because for some reason, you keep coming back.
      Yahoo: What just happened?

      When the biggest tech companies all act this way, is it any surprise that there's going to be finger-pointing and mudslinging? Fact is, nobody looks good because each is amorally driven by one goal above all else: profit, rather than ethics. And then they go about rationalizing that the pursuit of such profit and power is so that they can then be ethical, when in all cases, the exact opposite has occurred--companies become LESS ethical the more powerful they get.

    • by jonnat (1168035) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:35PM (#39696665)

      If Sergey Brin is lamenting Apple's restrictive iOS platform as a threat to internet freedom, then why not get to the root cause of that restrictiveness, which is malware?

      Believing that malware is the reason why Apple chose a walled-garden model for its app store requires the same degree of naivete needed to believe that child pornography is the reason why governments want to control your communications.

  • by multiben (1916126) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:46PM (#39696359)
    Seriously, how are Facebook and Apple threatening the freedom of the internet? Sure, I'm restricted if I'm using Facebook or Apple technologies, but there are literally thousands of places I can post and do whatever I want. The internet is a very big place.

    Also, the other day I tried to sign up for a second Google+ account but it didn't like the names I was choosing because it didn't consider them "real" names. Seems a bit rich to be accusing others of limiting freedom.
    • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:55PM (#39696425)
      I think the threat is that the internet will cease to be a big place outside of a handful of walled gardens, or at the very least, it's very difficult to engage in certain activities without a Facebook account.
      • by Alex Zepeda (10955) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:19PM (#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.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:12PM (#39696533)

      Sure, I'm restricted if I'm using Facebook or Apple technologies, but there are literally thousands of places I can post and do whatever I want. The internet is a very big place.

      So you think it is good for Internet freedom if the network is divided into little islands of technologies controlled by one specific company or another? Nothing prevents Facebook from interoperating with other social networking or communications systems -- they even have their own Jabber implementation, that could easily exchange messages with other Jabber servers.

      The whole point of the Internet is that it is not fractured; another way to state this is that walled gardens are the antithesis of the Internet philosophy.

    • by Fri13 (963421)

      Is internet so big after all?
      Same question can be asked from physical location in countries.

      When someone says "USA" (or any other country) to foreign person, what will rise to their minds?
      A geographical location in world, capital city, famous cities, media (movie, music, other industry etc) information, politics, famous people and possible family ties etc.

      But how many starts thinking first all the small places? Like small towns, single unknown people, poor people, people living typical spaces, small bars an

    • Seriously, how are Facebook and Apple threatening the freedom of the internet? Sure, I'm restricted if I'm using Facebook or Apple technologies, but there are literally thousands of places I can post and do whatever I want. The internet is a very big place.

      It's the difference between theory and practice. In theory, you can go anywhere and do whatever you want because the internet is so huge. But it does little good if it turns into a ghost town because Apple and Facebook have convinced users to trade f

  • by JonathanF (532591) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:52PM (#39696403)

    The irony: this comes from a company that wants to know everything about you and shifted its entire strategy to compete with Facebook. A company currently facing DOJ and EU antitrust investigations. A company that just got fined $25,000 for obstructing an FCC investigation into Street View cars' Wi-Fi accidentally scraping personal messages and website visits.

    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.

    Look, Sergey, there are advantages to an open platform, but you're as much of a threat as the others.

    • by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:09PM (#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 broken_chaos (1188549) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:21PM (#39696589)

      Ah, this article is about freedom (open platforms) and not privacy. The two are not the same thing. Apple and Facebook are certainly threats to freedom (in the sense of open platforms), but both Google and Facebook are threats to privacy.

  • by cffrost (885375) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:53PM (#39696411) Homepage

    This is unexpected. I have to wonder if this is an effort to deflect scrutiny from his own outfit.

  • Out of context (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLucless (582312) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @06:59PM (#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.

  • "Avoiding the Privacy Apocalypse"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSYXw87BWXo [youtube.com]
    Learn how Clinton era laws opened world wide telco interception as US firms wanted a level export price with the EU equipment makers.
    Why should one side have to add expensive backdoors and deal with all the short term upgrade costs?
    Learn how individual French school children where to be tracked and profiled by the state and what the UK wanted to do with every IM, email in real time.
    The govs saw what keyword ad tracking by privacy loving US .coms could do with every word submitted -
    they expected the same access.
    The video is just a talk, no Q and A at the end ;)
  • by smoothnorman (1670542) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:38PM (#39696679)

    Sergey Brin has listed three threats to Internet freedom: Facebook, Apple,

    ...and no mention made at all of Facebook's recent scary support of the SOPA-heir: CISPA [google.com]? Why wouldn't google want to tar Facebook with that one? ...might it be that google likes CISPA?

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:40PM (#39696685) Journal
    Why do you still have yours?
    I also don't own any Apple products, and have no plans to buy any in the future, either; I don't recommend anyone buy those, either.

    I'd like to remind everyone that you don't need any of these things in your life in order to have a happy, productive life, and in my opinion you're more likely to have a happy, productive life if you don't have them. While you're at it, stop wasting money on cable and satellite TV, and smartphones and the overpriced data plans that they come with, too. Read more books, interact with more people in person, and go outside more often and move your bodies around. I can almost guarantee that these things will make your healthier and happier than what they're replacing.
  • Confusing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Corson (746347) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @07:52PM (#39696751)
    Aside from throwing mud at Google's competitors, he is deliberately mistaking Web for Web Search. A library is the books in it, not the book index, and some of the books are in the "restricted" area. So what?
  • Pot, meet Kettle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ugen (93902) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:32PM (#39696947)

    As a matter of fact, Apple is a much smaller danger to Internet freedom than Google.
    A person can easily avoid using Apple products or systems (and save a ton of money while doing so). They are popular, but surely not mandatory. It is trivial to buy hardware and software that is not made by Apple (and most of the world still does :) )

    At the same time, it's very hard to escape Google tentacles. Large percentage of web sites (perhaps majority) use Google-provided webmaster tools to track visitors and send information back to Google. So, unless user employs fairly sophisticated tools and does so very consistently - the only way to avoid Google grasp is to use virtually no Internet at all (certainly not for web browsing of any kind). That's a pretty big threat if you ask me.

    But hey, what's obvious facts vs. Sergey bashing some of his biggest competitors :)

  • Are you kidding me? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oizo (875964) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @08:40PM (#39696991)
    If Google is the Disneyland of the whole internet why the f*ck I cannot access google/groups without a google account?
  • Prisoner Dilemma (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ElitistWhiner (79961) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @09:15PM (#39697127) Journal

    Freedom, Privacy, Internet

    Pick

    2 out of 3

    Get it wrong you == LOSE

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday April 15, 2012 @10:39PM (#39697489)
    I'd argue that any organization, whether it be a Government or an business having control over the internet is a direct threat to it. Including Google. I think the one thing that the internet has taught us is just how shackled we were before it came along. The guards are quickly trying to put the chains back in place, and in fact, replacing the older ones with new and improved ones. We must all hope, that we'll eventually find a way to communicate that can not be controlled, monitored, manipulated... Technology is both freedom and a prison.
  • by pbjones (315127) on Monday April 16, 2012 @02:04AM (#39698201)

    Though not the worst offender, Google's ability to mislead, sell data, etc puts it up there, between Apple and Farcebook.

  • by abelb (1365345) on Monday April 16, 2012 @02:12AM (#39698223)
    I agree with Sergey. Facebook and other such sites represent the opposite of what the Internet was meant to be. Instead of creating an open facebook or twitter protocol for anyone to implement, they've closed it off and put a wall around their own little internet. Imagine the same was done in the early days; instead of SMTP we'd just have Hotmail. Instead of HTTP we'd have AOL. Eeeewww

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