Larry Page “dreams of a place with no privacy laws”, Axel Springer CEO claims in open letter to Google
The only thing with the same spread and reach as technology companies such as Google is ‘biological viruses’, Axel Springer chief executive Mathias Dopfner has said in an open letter to the search giant. Published in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the letter is in response to a column by Google chairman Eric Schmidt, which said that media company Axel Springer had signed a muti-year deal with Google. Dopfner suggested that the company had no choice but to work with Google, stating "we know no search engine alternative to increase our online reach". He went on to discuss a dispute which has been running for years between Google and the European Commission, saying that the commission has "sanctioned the introduction of a business model, which in less honourable circles is called extortion". Dopfner also turned his attention to Google founder Larry Page, claiming "He dreams of a place with no privacy laws and without democratic accountability." He added: "Does this mean that Google is planning to operate in a legal vacuum, without the hassle of anti-trust and privacy? A kind of superstate?" Google was not the only company to feel Dopfner’s wrath. He also compared Facebook’s founderMark Zuckerberg to a dictator. Describing how the founder responded to a question about Facebook storing data, Dopfner wrote: “Zuckerberg said: 'I do not understand your question. Those who have nothing to hide, have nothing to fear.' "Again and again I had to think about this sentence. It's terrible. I know it is certainly not meant that way. This is a mindset that was fostered in totalitarian regimes not in liberal societies. Such a sentence could also be said by the head of the Stasi or other intelligence service or a dictatorship."