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Long Live The Web !!!

Stashed in: Google!, Facebook!, Apple, Teh Internets, @timberners_lee, Balinow, History of Tech!, Sergey Brin, Open Web

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Google co-founder Sergey Brin seems much-humbled by all of the forces fighting against the Open Web.

From his interview with The Guardian:

“The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the web was so open,” Brin told The Guardian. “Once you get too many rules, that will stifle innovation.”

In an interview published Sunday, Google’s co-founder cited a wide range of attacks on “the open internet,” including government censorship and interception of data, overzealous attempts to protect intellectual property, and new communication portals that use web technologies and the internet, but under restrictive corporate control.

There are “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world,” says Brin. “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.”

The inventor of The Web, Tim Berners-Lee, said the same thing in his 2010 Scientific American article, Long Live the Web.

The threat is real:

  • is 1 in 5 pageviews. That number is much larger when you factor in mobile.

  • Facebook is Hotel California. Data comes in from all over the Web, but it never leaves.

  • All information in iPhone and iPad apps are silo'd away from the crawlers of the open Web.

  • Hollywood-sponsored SOPA and PIPA would have led to the U.S. using the same content-screening technology it has criticized China and Iran for using.

  • And each of these forces are getting stronger.

Facebook is rapidly becoming the way people experience the Web.

Meanwhile, Google+ is siphoning the blogosphere.

And Web creator Tim Berners-Lee says Demand your data from Google and Facebook:

Berners-Lee has in the past warned that the rise of social-networking "silos" such as Facebook, and "closed world" apps such as those released by Apple, which cannot be indexed by web search engines, threaten the openness and universality that the architects of the internet saw as central to its design.

Sergey clarifies his thoughts:

I became an entrepreneur during the 90’s, the boom time of what you might now call Web 1.0. Yahoo created a directory of all the sites they could find without asking anyone for permission. Ebay quickly became the largest auction company in the world without having to pay a portion of revenue to any ISP. Paypal became the most successful payment company and Amazon soared in e-commerce also without such tolls or any particular company’s permission.

Today, starting such a service would entail navigating a number of new tollbooths and gatekeepers. If you are interested in this issue I recommend you read by +Jonathan Zittrain. While openness is a core value at Google, there are a number of areas where we can improve too (as the book outlines).

Hat tip to Liz Gannes for the link.

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