Sergey Brin clarifies remarks about Apple and Facebook, expresses admiration for the two companies

Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently clarified recent remarks he made about Apple and Facebook

Last week, Google co-founder Sergey Brin created quite a stir in an interview with the Guardian for saying that companies like Apple and Facebook are threatening the open nature of the Internet and that he's "more worried" than he's ever been in the past, going so far as to call it "scary".

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

Brin went on to say that he and Larry Page would have never been able to create Google had Facebook already been around because "you have to play by their rules... there's a lot to be lost... all the information is in apps - that data is not crawlable by web crawlers."

Of course, that presupposes that the definition of an open Internet is that everything must and should be crawlable by Google, a ridiculous notion - as is the premise that Facebook would have precluded the development of Google.

Brin's comments spread quickly through the tech blogosphere, and his comparison of Apple and Facebook to oppressive governments like Saudi Arabia, China, and Iran certainly raised some eyebrows about Brin's perspective.

But a few days ago, Brin clarified his remarks via a posting on Google+, claiming that his point of view became "distorted in the secondary coverage" of the story.

Lastly 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. 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.

via Google

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT