“Some will take Mr Brin’s comments on Google rival Facebook, which has seen huge growth and now has more than 800 million members globally, with a grain of salt. The social network has announced plans for a $100 billion IPO.
But his comments on increased interference by governments were echoed by Ricken Patel, co-founder of Avaaz, the 14-million strong activist network which has help train and equip activists in Syria.
Mr Patel said: ‘Governments are realising the power of this medium to organise people and they are trying to clamp down across the world, not just in places like China and North Korea; we’re seeing bills in the United States, in Italy, all across the world.’
Mr Brin also conceded that Google has itself lost the trust of many because its servers sit on American soil, and users’ data are in reach of U.S. authorities.
He admitted the company was forced to hand over information to the U.S. government, and was also sometimes stopped from even telling users it had done so.”