Google boss: let Internet flourish to boost productivity

The annual $27-billion boost to Australia’s productivity from internet innovation is at threat from policymakers who would rather restrict online access than embrace it, Google’s Australia boss has warned.

The head of Google Australia and New Zealand, Nick Leeder, said he was particularly troubled by restrictive policies from governments in China and Iran, but also by previous efforts from Australia’s Labor government to introduce internet filtering legislation.

His comments echo remarks by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who told the Guardian at the weekend that freedom of the internet was under attack from governments that tried to control access and communication by their citizens, attempts by the entertainment industry to thwart piracy, and the rise of walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms — via

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