Sergey Brin, Jack Dorsey, Chad Hurley, Jimmy Wales, et al. to U.S. Government: DO NOT Emulate These Oppressive Nations – Malaysia, China, Iran
Malaysia is one of the three countries (the others are China and Iran) cited by the leading US Internet entrepreneurs in an Open Letter to lawmakers in Washington. The Open Letter opposes the proposed Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which US lawmakers are currently discussing.
According to the letter, both Acts threaten to “give the US Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.”
The signatories of the Open Letter include Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), Jack Dorsey / Evan Williams / Biz Stone (co-founders of Twitter), Elon Musk (co-founder of PayPal), Chad Hurley (co-founder of YouTube), Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), Jerry Yang (co-founder of Yahoo!), and Pierre Omidyar (founder of e-Bay).
Sergey Brin posted on his Google+ page on why he supports the Open Letter:
In just two decades, the world wide web has transformed and democratized access to information all around the world. I am proud of the role Google has played alongside many others such as Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Twitter. Whether you are a student in an internet cafe in the developing world or a head of state of a wealthy nation, the knowledge of the world is at your fingertips.
Of course, offering these services has come with its challenges. Multiple countries have sought to suppress the flow of information to serve their own political goals. At various times notable Google websites have been blocked in China, Iran, Libya (prior to their revolution), Tunisia (also prior to revolution), and others. For our own websites and for the internet as a whole we have worked tirelessly to combat internet censorship around the world alongside governments and NGO promoting free speech.
Thus, imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States. Two bills currently making their way through congress — SOPA and PIPA — give the US government and copyright holders extraordinary powers including the ability to hijack DNS and censor search results (and this is even without so much as a proper court trial). While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement (which I don’t believe these acts would accomplish), I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.
It seems Sergey Brin considers Malaysia, China, and Iran as the most oppressive nations in the world!