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'Free & Open Internet Under Attack': Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai warned against the threat to internet freedom emerging from different parts of the world.

Updated
India
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>In an elaborate interview with BBC, Google CEO Sundar Pichai asserted that "free and open internet is under attack" in many countries.</p><p><br></p></div>
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Google CEO Sundar Pichai feels that "free and open internet is under attack" in many countries.

In an interview with BBC, he warned against the threat to internet freedom emerging from different parts of the world.

"It is more of a step back. I think a free and open internet is a tremendous force for good and we take it for granted a bit."
Sundar Pichai

Answering a question on the different legislations on online content, most with regard to free speech, he said "In each country now, there is a debate what speech is OK and what should be allowed. In some ways, I think we pull back from the bigger picture that many countries around the world are restricting the flow of information and drawing much more rigid boundaries."

He went on to urge countries upholding democratic traditions and values to take a stand against the fracturing of the internet.

Pichai's remarks come at a time when the Indian government is enforcing it's new IT rules on social media platforms, news publishers, OTT websites and search engines.

One of the key regulations of these rules is administrative surveillance and the deletion of "offensive" content upon official orders.

Several online platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and news organisations, have been wary of complying with the legislations, calling them "violative of the Indian constitution" as they seemingly curb speech, expression and press.

In June, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression addressed a letter to the Indian government, slamming some of the provisions of the newly enacted Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

'The Most Profound Technology'

Further, the tech giant chief spoke on aritifical intelligence, which he referred to as the "most profound technology that humanity will ever develop and work on".

"You know, if you think about fire or electricity, the internet is like that. But I think even more profound," he added.

(With inputs from BBC)

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