“Free and open internet under attack”, says Pichai

World governments and big tech companies have been at loggerheads with each other for heaven knows how long, and the battle only seems to be worsening, with Google Head Sundar Pichai saying that many countries are becoming a threat to “free and open internet” around the globe.

Free and open internet
Image Credits: Tech Times

Democratic Countries Should Take a Stand

The Google Inc. CEO said during an interview with the British Broadcasting Station (BBC) on Monday, that countries that have “strong democratic traditions and values” should take a stand against the possible fragmenting of the internet and its services in different parts of the world.

Implying that many countries are putting up barriers to the free flow of information and internet, he added that nowadays, it has become quite commonplace to see nations contemplate on what type of speech “is OK and what should be allowed”.

Takes Two to Clap

This comes even as many world powers are moving to take a stricter stance against tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and of course, Google itself. There have been multiple reports of inappropriate content moderation (like with China), non-adherence to guidelines (take India for example), failure to take down banned or illegal content (like in, say, Russia), among other issues.

Still, these companies too, are in no way planning to step down without a fight. Many social media platforms have approached the courts in India over the IT rules, and WhatsApp is neck deep in a leg battle in the country over its new privacy policy. In the European Union too, these firms have been seeing a number of fines and lawsuits over anticompetitive practices and abuse of power.

During his interview, Pichai further called out China and its alleged throttling nature, when it comes to control over tech biggies, while answering a question about the drastic steps that the Chinese government takes in order to remain on top of tech businesses. He added that Google’s “major products and services” are not available in the Asian country.

Throwing shade at nations who are apparently trying to put a stop to “free and open internet” wasn’t the only thing that Pichai focussed on, however, during his interview. He also talked about how he feels that artificial intelligence and quantum computing have the potential of becoming two of the biggest innovations that have graced the world. He even touched upon how India remains a part of his being, even though he was born and brought up in the United States.