Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Google 'has no political ideology'

Google chief Eric Schmidt
Google chief Eric Schmidt

Google chief Eric Schmidt has said the web giant has no interest in encouraging particular political change.

But the executive chairman said the company believes more information and transparency leads to better governments.

He was speaking at a Google-sponsored summit against violent extremism in Dublin, which has brought together former religious fundamentalists, guerrillas, gangsters, neo-Nazis and paramilitaries to work out how to defeat extremism.

Mr Schmidt criticised the cynicism he has experienced "over and over again" about tackling the issue, adding society only moves on when it tries something new.

"It's time for us as a society to take charge on these things," he said.

"Phenomena begin, phenomena end. They do, in fact, and new problems emerge. Let's work on some new problems, fix the old problems."

Mr Schmidt said there was no political ideology at the heart of Google's operations but it was happy to act as an enabler of information.

"We have a particular view that more information, more transparency, produces more better and more responsive societies and governments," he said.

He said it was "a little uncomfortable" at times championing free speech because it can lead to speech people don't like, but he added the company will only censor very few things, like specific death threats.

Because of this, he said the company was always concerned about Google employees in some countries which did not have a strong record on transparency and freedom of speech.

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