Internet mogul Kim Dotcom took to Twitter on Saturday to call for an EU-funded alternative to Google.
I ask the European Parliament to come up with an incentive program / funding for a EU search engine to compete with Google.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 8, 2013
Dotcom’s comments are a response to reports last week from The Guardian, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal that a host of major Internet and telecom companies — including Google — are providing the National Security Agency direct access to Internet servers and swaths of phone data.
The companies have either vehemently denied or offered no comment on the allegations, despite the U.S. government’s attempts to explain the legality of its efforts.
The efficacy of a government-funded search engine might seem counterintuitive, given recent revelations about the NSA’s programs, but Dotcom offered his rationale to The Daily Caller via direct message.
“open source? funding doesn’t mean control. unfortunately twitter only allows so many characters. We need a google alternative. ” he wrote.
Dotcom famously clashed in 2012 with New Zealand authorities operating on behalf of the U.S. government over his now-defunct cyberlocker MegaUpload.com.
He has since resurrected MegaUpload.com in the form of Mega.com.
Dotcom, however, is not alone in his outcry for alternatives to popular Internet services that have their origins in the U.S.
“The long term solution is that Europe should have a dot.com industry just like the United States,” F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hypponen said to Reuters, “which would give us economic benefits but more importantly would make us independent of the wholesale surveillance of the U.S intelligence agencies.”
F-Secure is a Finnish software security firm.