Google’s Sergey Brin: Apple, Facebook, China Are Biggest Threats to Open Internet

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April 16 2012 3:59 PM

Google’s Sergey Brin: Apple, Facebook, China Are Biggest Threats to Open Internet

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Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin says some of his company's tech competitors are threatening a free Internet along with China and Iran. Brin looks on during a question and answer session following the launch of the new Google Instant in 2010.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Internet has its own Axis of Evil, and it includes China, Iran, and Facebook.

That’s what Google co-founder Sergey Brin is saying, in a new interview with the Guardian that lays out the tech visionary’s growing fears about governments and corporations trying to control Web users in the 21st century. Despite winning battles in the United States against Internet-constraining legislation like SOPA and PIPA, Brin says there are “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open Internet on all sides and around the world.”

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Which powerful forces? Iran and China’s governments, trying to tamp down on anti-government discussion and activism, the entertainment industry and its crusade against pirating, and tech giants like Apple and Facebook looking to wall in and control information.

Granted, Brin is criticizing some of his company’s direct tech competitors. But when Google starts sounding like a rebel force in a growing evil empire, you have to wonder if a world war over Internet freedom is upon us.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.