INTERNET SEARCH ARCHITECT Sergey Brin has taken some time to read over the Guardian interview he did earlier this week and the response to it, and is now looking to calm things down a bit.
Brin was widely quoted with saying that Google has a number of internet enemies, or the internet has a lot of enemies. We can't be sure now as he has taken to Google+ with a bucket of sand and some fresh comment.
"I think the article is a pretty good read but is a short summary of a long discussion. My thoughts got particularly distorted in the secondary coverage in a way that distracts from my central tenets so I think they are worth clarifying here," he said.
Where the Guardian report makes it look like Brin was complaining about industry 'anti-piracy' efforts and his social networking and smartphone competition, this is not right, he said. In fact it was only governments that he was referring to, and then only when they are censoring dissent.
"Today, the primary threat by far to internet freedom is government filtering of political dissent. This has been far more effective than I ever imagined possible across a number of nations. In addition, other countries such as the US have come close to adopting very similar techniques in order to combat piracy and other vices. I believe these efforts have been misguided and dangerous," he said.
Comparing the way that Apple and Facebook do business to governments trampling on protests is not fair, he said, and was not the point that he was trying to get across.
"In the interview came the subject of digital ecosystems that are not as open as the web itself and I think this portion has led to some misunderstanding of my views. So to clarify, I certainly do not think this issue is on a par with government based censorship. Moreover, I have much admiration for two of the companies we discussed - Apple and Facebook," he added.
While it appeared that the firms were a big problem, both for users and for Google, "Facebook has been sucking down Gmail contacts for years," he is reported as saying, and he actually loves them and what they do.
"I have always admired Apple's products. In fact, I am writing this post on an Imac and using an Apple keyboard I have cherished for the past seven years. Likewise, Facebook has helped to connect hundreds of millions of people, has been a key tool for political expression and has been instrumental to the Arab Spring. Both have made key contributions to the free flow of information around the world." µ
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