Google co-founder Sergey Brin: Apple a threat to Internet freedom

“The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin,” Ian Katz reports for 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,” Katz reports. “He said he was most concerned by the efforts of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict use of the internet, but warned that the rise of Facebook and Apple, which have their own proprietary platforms and control access to their users, risked stifling innovation and balkanising the web. ‘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.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Certain governments are definitely a concern, but Brin’s characterization of Apple and Facebook are at least as hypocritical as Microsoft’s Gates and Ballmer for years serially claiming to be “innovators.”

Google wants access to traipse around everywhere, looking under every rock, sampling everything in the entire garden in which others work the land, while Google profits from the fruits of their labor. Besides trying to copy other’s mobile OSes or social networks in order to attempt to gain access to or at least weaken certain garden “walls,” gathering detailed lists of what’s in the garden in order to sell ads for fertilizer, shovels, and hoes is Google’s business model. There’s nothing wrong with this, but would Google grant such complete access to competitors? Is Google for such “Internet freedom” for other search engines and/or online advertising firms?

We submit that all of these “walls,” or even just the prospect of them, have caused Google to lose their way.

What if we don’t want Google, or any one entity, to have access to all the world’s data? Perhaps it’s better, even if we sometimes have to sacrifice a bit of convenience and search a little harder, if there is no monolithic gatekeeper?

And why have Google recently embarked on a PR tour? Do they have internal polling? Are they concerned about their company’s image?

Related articles:
Google’s Larry Page: Steve Jobs’ fury over Android was ‘for show’ – April 4, 2012
James Whittaker: Why I left Google – March 14, 2012
What is up with Eric Schmidt’s revisionist history of his relationship with Steve Jobs? – October 14, 2011


  1. Google lost its mojo since day 1: 1998 Sep4!
    (when it created Google engine vs AltaVista etc.)

    Eric Schmidt has gone berserk.
    Now Sergey Brin is talking bull.
    He’s as desperado as RIMjob fighting off Apple iGiant.
    the sob says Apple is killing Web Freedom?!
    1. all the Android Opensource crap has given users virus, headaches, chaos, no zen-like Apple user experience but hell (lest you’re a masochistic techie but then what’s the point of a mobile device if hindering or wasting productivity time?!)

    Google can talk:
    2. they are the biggest copy machine in the world
    3. they work with CIA to create the NeXT Search Engine – yeah, that will kill the last thread of privacy & reveal everything about you personally to not only the gov. but all public for free!
    4. Google Docs does not kill web?! it’s pathetically raw, stone-age tech & U.I.
    5. Google St. Maps & Android tracking every human step is very democratic & all about freedom, right?!

    one can go on & on, but Goo-gle, is not as much about Goggle as initially, but nowadays more about Goo (mierda, scheisse, khara…) and who needs them in China where baidu/taobao is mightier…

    shame such a brain as Sergey has to stoop so low for marketing purposes!

  2. Wow.

    First Page, now Brin…Much jackassery of late.

    Could we have been wrong about Schmidt? I keep remembering that cafe sidewalk meeting he had with Steve…

  3. This just show you the differences between Apple and “the rest”. “The rest” keep on coping from Apple’s IPs and making ego-boosting statement then claim they are more open and benefitical to all mankind…… While Apple works hard to make insanely great products and keep its silence.

        1. Sergey made a false assertation that Apple and Facebook are a threat to internet freedom. You apparently agree with his false assertation despite it being, well, false. You also seem oblivious to the fact that Sergey’s actual problem with Apple and Facebook is that they don’t let Google spy on their platforms, which he makes crystal clear in the last paragraph(oh dear, I bet he thought he was being subtle). If that doesn’t make you an idiot, what does it make you?

    1. Who are Google’s customers? Not you or me or any other consumer for that matter. It’s the advertisers. The only reason Google wants the internet open is to gather information from you and me which they use for advertisements. Google is not here for your interests. You’re their cow which is being milked and Google is selling it.

  4. “‘For example, all the information in apps – that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can’t search it.’”

    That statement encompasses just about all that you need to know about Google. If all data should be searchable, then what about your data currently stored in Google Apps and Google cloud services? That little statement by Sergey Brin ought to make a lot of people reconsider their commitment to the so-called “open” Google environment – open to Google data crawlers, at least.

    Google is hiding behind walls while pointing fingers at others.

    1. Right, and why stop there? Why not require people to give Google access to personal information on your hard drive? The world will suffer if that is not searchable also.

    2. Yes, basically Googke wants to have access to *all* your private, personal, intimate data, while they keep Google trade secrets close to the vest.

      They want to be able to have every last bit of data on you: your hobbies, names of your children, your birthday, their birthday, who you talk to, where you work, what you like and don’t like. They would sort through your trash and break into your house and go through your panty drawer if they could, and read your diary. And copy all the pictures on your hard drive.

      Meanwhile they don’t want to share their search engine algorithm, their server methods, their corporate data. They even cried foul at Microsoft for examining their search results.

      If there is a more offensive group of hippocritocal creepy bullies I have no idea who.

    1. It is pathetic and bizarrely contradictory that for a certain kind of juvenile male, the worst insults to another male are to call him various parts of a woman’s body – parts that insulter and insultee spend large parts of their lives thinking about, looking at, getting excited about and touching. Let’s grow up and be a bit more respectful of women, shall we?

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