Over the weekend, one of Google’s co-founders, Sergey Brin, granted an exclusive interview to The Guardian in which he very openly discussed his thoughts on the future of Internet freedom. In the interview, he targeted various governments and their attempt at passing legislation to censor the Web and also stated his opinions regarding social networking giant, Facebook and the electronics manufacturer, Apple. Brin believes that the two companies are “restrictive” and intend to limit the functionality of the Internet.
He goes on to say that “too many rules” will “stifle innovation”. Since its inception, Google’s business model has been dependent upon an “open” Internet with minimal restriction and censorship. Amongst Brin’s other concerns are the limitations of vastly popular apps. Such proprietary applications for mobile devices are unable to be crawled by search engines and are therefore “closed off” from the open Web. Brin feels that the nature of these applications is threatening to the very principles that the Internet was created upon.
While many feel that Brin’s points are valid, there is some debate that he is merely pointing out perceived shortcomings of the competition in order to promote the Google brand. With Google’s increased integration and self-promotion of its own products and services into its search engine, the company has drawn criticisms similar to those that Brin made regarding Facebook and Apple. Google is also now in more direct competition with both companies than ever before, as Google+ was designed as Google’s foray into the social networking market that is currently dominated by Facebook and Google Play is viewed by many as an alternative to Apple’s iTunes.
Brin’s comments have sparked controversy and the topic has quickly led to a worldwide debate. From casual bloggers to Internet business experts, Sergey Brin’s Guardian interview has already made an impact and many are eagerly awaiting responses from Apple and Facebook. Currently, all three of the aforementioned companies rank amongst the world’s most successful and profitable technology brands; largely due to their own innovative contributions to the Internet and computing devices. The entire online community should continue to pay close attention to this topic going forward, as any ramifications are likely to be felt throughout the Internet.