Boris Johnson PRISM

Boris champions a ‘British Google’ in wake of US privacy concerns


By John Glenday, Reporter

June 10, 2013 | 2 min read

London mayor Boris Johnson has called on a ‘British Google’ to strike a fresh balance between the needs of freedom and security following revelations surrounding the extent of US government snooping on the web.

Describing such activities as inevitable, Johnson instead settled on the potential commercial implications of the news, which may have a dragging effect on the fortunes of leading American tech stalwarts implicated in the affair.

Writing in the Telegraph, Johnson observed that the fracas ‘represents a massive opportunity for a British tech company’, saying: “Look at all these US tech giants: I don’t need to name them – you know who I mean. They don’t pay their fair share of tax; they collaborate with US snoopers; they are altogether too big and powerful. They have had a lot of paint chipped off them lately.

“We in Britain have produced all sorts of technological breakthroughs – indeed, Tim Berners-Lee actually came up with the World Wide Web. But we have not yet produced a giant on the American scale – and now the gap yawns for a British internet provider that somehow roots out the terrorists and the child molesters, and yet allows the blameless punter to send an email in complete security. We want a British Google that cracks the freedom vs security conundrum. Come on, you Tech City brainboxes, it can’t be that hard!”

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