Brin: Views on Facebook and Apple were 'misunderstood'

Government filtering is the 'primary threat' to web freedom

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has taken to Google+ to explain that his thoughts on the closed nature of Facebook and Apple's ecosystems have been widely misunderstood.

His original views were reported as part of an interview with the Guardian newspaper, which Brin now describes as "a pretty good read but it is a short summary of a long discussion".

He clarified his position on Apple and Facebook, admitting himself to be quite the Apple fan ("I am writing this post on an iMac and using an Apple keyboard I have cherished for the past seven years").

Brin: "Today, the primary threat by far to internet freedom is government filtering of political dissent."

Brin explained, "To clarify, I certainly do not think this [walled garden] issue is on a par with government based censorship.

"Both [Facebook and Apple] have made key contributions to the free flow of information around the world."

Freedom fighter

His concern, he went on to explain, stems from the fact that Google, eBay, Yahoo and other first-wave web giants were able to make strides because of the open nature of the internet: "Today, starting such a service would entail navigating a number of new tollbooths and gatekeepers."

Brin's reaction makes it clear that his main concern is with governmental control of the internet, which he describes as "the primary threat":

"Today, the primary threat by far to internet freedom is government filtering of political dissent," he wrote.

"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."

His impassioned conclusion reads: "Regardless of how you feel about digital ecosystems or about Google, please do not take the free and open internet for granted from government intervention.

"To the extent that free flow of information threatens the powerful, those in power will seek to suppress it."

From Google+

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