Google’s Sergey Brin: Apple and Facebook pose huge threat to Internet freedom

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said during an interview published on Sunday that Apple and Facebook pose serious threats to Internet freedom because of their closed approaches to software. While speaking with The Guardian, Brin said 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. It’s scary.” The executive pointed to the “walled-garden” philosophy that sees companies like Apple and Facebook maintain tight control over third-party software on their respective platforms as the cause for his concerns. Read on for more.

Brin voiced concerns that this closed approach prevents companies like Google from accessing the information stored on the companies’ networks, possibly revealing one of the main causes for his position. “There’s a lot to be lost,” Brin said. “For example, all the information in apps, that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can’t search it.”

The Google co-founder acknowledged that there are much more serious threats to freedom on the Web than his company’s two nearest rivals, however — namely the efforts of countries like China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict access to the Internet. Brin also noted that the entertainment industry’s anti-piracy efforts stand to impede Internet freedom.

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