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The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever SOURCE: The Guardian 04/15/2012
Speaking to The Guardian, the billionaire said he didn’t believe five years ago that a country like China could effectively restrict internet freedoms for long, but added that he has now been proven wrong.
“I am more worried than I have been in the past. It's scary," he reportedly said.
"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. SOURCE
As if to validate Brin’s words, Hu Jintao’s government has continued with a vengeance its unprecedented online crack down designed to quell any potential social disorder, or even worse, political protest, ahead of the Party’s leadership handover next year.
State Internet Information Office figures released at the tail end of last week revealed that some 210,000 posts have now been removed from the country’s popular weibos, or microblogs such as Sina Weibo, and 42 sites shut down as part of efforts to stamp out online “rumours” which spread last month of a failed coup. SOURCE
He said the Sopa and Pipa bills championed by the film and music industries would have led to the US using the same technology and approach it criticised China and Iran for using The Guardian.
Brin acknowledged that some people were anxious about the amount of their data that was now in the reach of US authorities because it sits on Google's servers. He said the company was periodically forced to hand over data and sometimes prevented by legal restrictions from even notifying users that it had done so.
He said: "We push back a lot; we are able to turn down a lot of these requests. We do everything possible to protect the data. If we could wave a magic wand and not be subject to US law, that would be great. If we could be in some magical jurisdiction that everyone in the world trusted, that would be great … We're doing it as well as can be done." The Guardian.
H.R. 3523, a piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short), has been created under the guise of being a necessary implement in America’s war against cyberattacks. But the vague verbiage contained within the pages of the paper could allow Congress to circumvent existing exemptions to online privacy laws and essentially monitor, censor and stop any online communication that it considers disruptive to the government or private parties. Critics have already come after CISPA for the capabilities that it will give to seemingly any federal entity that claims it is threatened by online interactions, but unlike the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Acts that were discarded on the Capitol Building floor after incredibly successful online campaigns to crush them, widespread recognition of what the latest would-be law will do has yet to surface to the same degree.
Brin stated that they do their best to protect everyone’s data, but sometimes they are forced to hand over data and are legally restricted from informing the users that their data had been acquired by the government.
“We push back a lot; we are able to turn down a lot of these requests. We do everything possible to protect the data. If we could wave a magic wand and not be subject to US law, that would be great. If we could be in some magical jurisdiction that everyone in the world trusted, that would be great … We’re doing it as well as can be done,” Brin stated. SOURCE