In a rare show of honesty, Sergey Brin admitted that

 their data that was now in the reach of US authorities because it sits on Google’s servers. He said the company was periodically forced to hand over data and sometimes prevented by legal restrictions from even notifying users that it had done so.

Of course, he conveniently points the finger at his rivals – Facebook, Apple, Hollywood (RIAA/MPAA).

Yes Sergey, your competition is evil.  So’s your company.  If you don’t want the US government demanding access to all the data that Google collects, then STOP COLLECTING so much data.  START telling your users about the threats to THEIR privacy that you’ve created.  A Google Good-To-Know about ECPA and PATRIOT ACT would be so much nicer than your current ads.

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy,

From the attempts made by Hollywood to push through legislation allowing pirate websites to be shut down, to the British government’s plans to monitor social media and web use, the ethos of openness championed by the pioneers of the internet and worldwide web is being challenged on a number of fronts.

In China, which now has more internet users than any other country, the government recently introduced new “real identity” rules in a bid to tame the boisterous microblogging scene. In Russia, there are powerful calls to rein in a blogosphere blamed for fomenting a wave of anti-Vladimir Putin protests. It has been reported that Iran is planning to introduce a sealed “national internet” from this summer.

via Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google’s Sergey Brin | Technology | The Guardian.