Google are running scared.. of Internet darlings Facebook and Apple.
Sergey Brin, Google co-founder fears for internet.
That’s according to Sergey Brin co-founder of Internet giant Google, who has criticised the closed doors tech darlings Facebook and iOS creator Apple have built around their respective platforms, which he warns will stifle future web innovation.
He spoke of the tight reign over the software it allows third parties to run, forcing “you to play by their rules, which are really restrictive,” Brin told The Guardian, and is at odds with the whole notion of a free and open Internet.
The rigidity of its rivals stands in contrast to Google self proclaimed open source platform.”The reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the web was so open,” he says.
“Once you get too many rules, that will stifle innovation,” he warned. He even accused Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild of “sucking down” Gmail contacts for its use.
But its not just pesky Facebook and iPad maker that are bothering one of the biggest players of the Internet, which just last week announced stellar profits of US$2.89 billion – up 60% on last year.
There are “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world,” Brin told The Guardian.
But its not just iOS rival Apple, a notoriously closed platform, which Google’s Android OS competes against, it is also eagerly trying to play catch-up with Facebook with Google + social network, which currently has 170 million users, it revealed last week.
“I am more worried than I have been in the past. It’s scary,” declares the man The Economist dubbed the “Enlightenment Man.”
So who are the other scary subterranean” forces” Brin believes are swirling the net (and has it running scared)?
Governments who try to control and censor web usage in countries such as China, Middle East and Iran are Brin’s biggest concern (eventually forcing the search engine to pull out of Chinese market). There are also proposals in Britain for the government to monitor citizens web usage, which looks like will go ahead.
“”I thought there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but now it seems in certain areas the genie has been put back in the bottle,” Google co-founder lamented of the previously unstoppable force of the web.
The new global war on illegal piracy sites, which most recently saw the high profile arrest and charging of Megaupload creator Dr Dotcom in New Zealand, are also a threat to innovation, Russian-born Brin believes.
It appears Brin (and Google) is at odds with any rules and regulation over the Net, despite the fact in some cases (cue Hollywood, music industry) millions are being lost to piracy and other forms of illegal downloads.
However, one can’t help think some of these restrictions may not be as ‘scary’, if say, Google’s own Android software was being pirated willy nilly.