Quoted: German media exec ‘afraid of Google’

“With the exception of biological viruses, there is nothing with such speed, efficiency and aggressiveness that spreads like these technology platforms, and this also lends its creators, owners and users with new power.”

Mathias Dopfner, chief executive of Axel Springer, Europe’s biggest newspaper publisher by circulation. In an open letter to Google published Wednesday in a German newspaper not published by Axel Springer, Dopfner also said: “We are afraid of Google. I must say this so clearly and honestly since scarcely one of my colleagues dares to do this publicly. And as the biggest of the small fry, we must perhaps be the first to speak plainly in this debate.”

Dopfner’s letter was a response to a recent column (in the same newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt that warned against heavy-handed European regulations he said would hinder innovation. Schmidt mentioned the Silicon Valley company’s improved advertising relationship with Axel Springer.  But Dopfner reportedly wrote that his company had no choice but to do business with Google because of its dominance in search.

The European Union has been looking into antitrust allegations against Google search for years, a tentative deal was reached earlier this year.

In his letter, the Axel Springer CEO also took aim at Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Larry Page, blasting the two CEOs on their stances on privacy, and criticizing Google’s many projects. Of Page, he said: “He dreams of a place with no privacy laws and without democratic accountability.”


Photo by Patrick Tehan/Mercury News archives



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  • West Derwin

    Good for Mathias Dopfner for speaking out the way he did—he should be praised and thanked for doing so. It is our hope that more and more people will now begin to realise that google is not at all our friend, and that they could possibly do more harm to Society than good (we said “could” not “would” or “will”). And the same holds true for facebook. If those founders/powers that be (schmidt, page, brin, and zuckerberg) really think privacy is not important, why did eric schmidt put so much sound-proofing in his NY condo (where he cheats on his wife with his fetishes)? Why do they all live in such private and closed worlds?? Why was Zuckerberg so upset when photos from his facebook page were seen by the public?

    We all need to press them for answers and to hold them accountable. Everyone should flood google and facebook with questions and demand change in their policy. google “proudly” boasts that they have just 1 Privacy Policy but what a joke. There are links within links to get through their privacy policy. It is an absolute sham and Society is paying the unknown costs.

    Some of Mathias’s comments remind us of how arrogant and self-centered the google “thinking” can be at times; sergey brin had commented not too long ago that google’s self-driving cars will be one of the ‘greatest things to help all of the world,’ but yet the majority of the world lives in terrible poverty where driving is not even a concern. Hey…sergey…how about finding a way to get people clean drinking water first? We no longer capitalize “google,” “facebook” or any of the names of their founders and/or C.E.O.s… they simply do not deserve it.

    schmidt is a dangerous, devil-like liar with a moral compass that is in the gutter. Same for all of his cronies…page, brin, and zuckerberg. We do not trust them at all, but only because they have acted in ways that CLEARLY show that they should NOT be trusted. We have read ALL of their privacy statements and we constantly study the behaviour of google. We know of too many examples where they flat out lied to Society as a whole.

    When google and facebook first started to gain users, politicians throughout the world should have been reading every EULA and challenging them. Instead, they were so eager to use their services that they simply clicked on “I accept,” (and we acknowledge that clicking on “I Accept” seemed so tempting and harmless). Perhaps it is too late to challenge google…that is one of our main concerns. Who is more powerful than google now? Perhaps no one. They have more satellites in orbit than most countries…how did this happen??!! It is already a fact that a (secret) segment of google was and is working with the (illegally formed) NSA and their counterparts in other countries (eg: England, Australia, and others).

    We love much of what google offers the world, but we also realize that they are potentially very, very dangerous and that they have been left unchecked for far too long. After we have a private meeting about google’s practises and need to communicate with each other, we do what the great American President, Jimmy Carter, now does—we use regular mail and until this announcement, google had NO idea about this. Hey eric…are you going to try to find me and our organization now and intercept our snail mail? You probably will. After-all…the time is near.

    And speaking of eric, he has some balls to threaten Europe the way he did in his article. Wow…if that is telling of how potentially evil he is then we do not know what is. eric…if there is a hell, you will end up there. Same for zuckerberg and brin. Probably the same for page as well, but they might let him pass to heaven just because he is so stupid (not that we believe in heaven or hell).

    Again, we say a HUGE thank you to Mathias for his article. We do hope this wakes the world up so that they start to question google and to realise that we are nothing more to google than a “product.”

    –West Derwin & the West Derwin Group

    • Nathan Merrill

      Everyone who complains about Google’s monopoly should go out and put a few rounds through the base of their own skull.

      The reality is that Google has a natural monopoly – they didn’t do it via coercion or anything else. Google has a monopoly because they’re the very best at what they do, and they give away their product for free. The end consumer pays nothing for their services.

      It is true that Google gains something of value in return – information, data – but it is freely generated and given by the consumer. The consumer is not paying with anything THEY consider to be of value, unless they have severe mental issues, as you do.

      Google is good. Facebook is good. And if you don’t want to use them you are absolutely free not to do so.

      Free services on the internet paid for in exchange for advertisements is wonderful, and those who complain about it are uniformly evil.

      Which is precisely why this guy is complaining about it – he owns newspapers. His entire business is worthless and entirely obsolete. There is no value to a newspaper, now – the internet is the future of news. It is the future of all information exchange, ultimately.

      And he wants to destroy it.

      He hates freedom. He talks about democracy, but the internet is the ultimate democracy – his papers are opposed to it. On the internet, everyone is free to publish for very, very little money, vastly less. He has to face far more competition, and Google helps everyone find better sources than him.

      He is scared.

      And his worthless comments aren’t news. Or should be noted as what they are:

      “Struggling newspaper tychoon lashes out at the internet, attempting to play off of people’s fears in order to maintain his monopoly over news.”

      • West Derwin

        And so you suggest that people should commit an illegal act (suicide)
        if they simply complain about google? Really???!!! You suggest violence???? Wow. How low can you go??

        You sir, are a disgrace to society for suggesting that people who complain should commit suicide. We certainly hope that you are not raising any children with those values.

        Do know that google has broken the law numerous times as well as deceived you and all of Society.

        Best to you anyway…even though you suggest people put a few bullets in their own bodies. You should be ashamed of you comment. You come across as a violent and angry person. You should see a doctor and try to learn how to communicate WITHOUT suggesting violence.

        I will even pay for your first few sessions you….just let us know.


        • Nathan Merrill

          Nah, I’m suggesting they do it because they’re either deeply evil or deeply stupid and are trying to hurt the rest of us, and thus we’d all be better off that way. I don’t actually expect them to do so, sadly. It is just another way of saying “die in a fire” or whatever the trendy way of saying that sort of thing is these days.

          Incidentally, if you just try to off yourself and fail, no one is going to charge you with any crime unless you do something like, say, try and commit suicide by cop or whatever. It is a mental health issue.

          But anyway, regarding “breaking the law numerous times, blah blah blah”: everyone on the planet, literally everyone, has broken the law numerous times. The question is whether it was malicious and what damage they did by breaking the law.

          You don’t have any sort of logical rationale. All you did was complain at me, thus proving the uselessness of your original comment.

          • TG

            I both love and fear google. Everyone should be cautious of the Pandora’s box that is opening now.
            Americas best and brightest work there, I think everyone enjoys the search engine.
            It is the idea that they work with the surveillance apparatus of the US without the consent of approval of the people that gets them in hot water.
            I think the people there are mostly good guys, but if you don’t fear what google could do if it wanted to be evil you aren’t using your imagination.

          • Christophe Thomas

            right but the same is true for Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, AT&T, Cisco, the NSA, Fox news ect.

          • TG

            Any time huge databases of information intersects with government there will be potential for abuse. Just think if j Edgar Hoover had access to this technology, how many more of his political enemies could he have blackmailed.
            There are reasons that foreign diplomats are resorting to typewriters and couriers.

          • Nathan Merrill

            Because people lie habitually, and thus make outrageous claims like this without actually doing so? Yeah, you might want to check out your sources on that; they’re lying to you.

            Let me live in realitytown here for a second:

            If you use proper end to end encryption, it is by far the safest and most secure method for communication. Problem is, most people are far too lazy to do so properly. There are many cryptographic systems which are utterly immune to the NSA; they’re just mostly useful for… well, sending letters and suchlike. PGP is great, it just isn’t something you use casually.

          • Nathan Merrill

            The evilest thing they could do is shut down their service.

            Being worried about online privacy is just comically wrong – there is no privacy on the internet. You should simply assume that every website you visit can potentially be traced back to you. It is just reality. Will it be? Probably not. But it COULD be.

            I just don’t worry much about privacy on the Internet because I understand the reality of it. If you aren’t encrypting your communications yourself, you should assume that they can potentially be read by other people.

          • TG

            I like their service. I just want for more transparency and oversight. The governmental bodies in charge of oversight have no clue. Internet level Encryption is largely useless against NSA. I agree people should be more careful, but when the tech giants build purposeful back doors in their products we are in a different area of insecurity.

        • TryToThinkFirst

          The great President Jimmy Carter? Really West? Perhaps you should seek psychiatric help. Jimmy Carter’s incompetence is the stuff of legends.

          No way I can get behind an argument by the main stream media. They have had vice grip control of information and have been abusing that power for several decades, stripping that away is a good thing.

          Every single thing we do online leaves a footprint that is there for the taking. The unfortunate reality is that privacy in the electronic age is a pipe dream. Privacy statements clearly don’t mean much as we now know. The only way to maintain any semblance of limited privacy is to stay offline.

    • Christophe Thomas

      do you have the slightest idea who this guy (Mathias Dopfner) is ?

  • Harlon Katz

    ” But Dopfner reportedly wrote that his company had no choice but to do business with Google because of its dominance in search.”

    I for some reason doubt Dopfner felt the same way about companies that had to advertise with him because they were, at one time, the only game in town. Before the Internet many of these news sources had monopolies and they were most likely not complaining.

    • Nathan Merrill


      Dopfner is complaining because his monopoly has been destroyed and his business is completely worthless.

      Newspapers are dead, and he wants to attack the internet and kill it because he hates the idea of competition.

      • Sundra Tanakoh

        Yep, time for him to get out of the kitchen because he can’t stand the heat. This is a guy who did not embrace the future and is gonna pay for it.

    • West Derwin

      Fully agree.

  • Tom McLernon

    The new technology always supersedes the old, that’s just the way it is. Printing presses are gone, now it is electronic media. Can’t apply the old methods to the new technology and processes. No more horse carriages, no more blimps, no more pony express, no more lamplighters, no more typewriters, they all were useful in their day. But now we have moved on. (some of us anyways)

  • Sundra Tanakoh

    Print is dead. Get over it.

  • chriswiseowl

    Unfortunately, he is absolutely correct. Power hungry internet sources like Google stop at nothing, and are on their way to becoming countries and worlds unto themselves–with none of the responsibilities to their “citizens” whatsoever. They play every government, yet expect to rule as if with a divine right. This is why China can’t stand them.

  • Christophe Thomas

    Even if Mathias Dopfner would not be a power hungry and morally corrupt person – it still would make no sense. First he is part of the people promoting the Leistungschutzgesetz (see “Ancillary copyright for press publishers”) – once the law is adopted he is the first to opt out from it and now he “complains” about Google being good at what they do. Of course he is a smart guy – he knows he is talking BS …

  • THIS guy is misguided the European union should be more worried about the NSA and the Russians then Google or Facebook people want to be connected to the system there’s a price to pay for the services they provide gmail is not free hangouts is not free they don’t charge money the currency is the data YOUR DATA same with Facebook without the data you would be paying to use their services from gmail to drive and their office suite same for Facebook you want to see people lose their minds think about having to pay a monthly fee to use these services.

    • Nathan Merrill

      Every single country spies on every other country.

      Everyone with any knowledge of the real world knows this. All the whining about the NSA is people being stupid.

      The NSA spies on everyone. The Chinese and Russians try. So does the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and every other country with the ability to do so.

      I wouldn’t worry about the NSA spying on you unless you actually do something interesting.

      • TG

        Your pensions and 401k are interesting. Knowing what corporations will do before the market is interesting. Releasing taped conversations of political reformers is interesting. Deleting the hard drives of reporters is interesting.
        We need reform that is all. We built a system with little oversight and capabilities not understood by their regulators.

        • Nathan Merrill

          The government already knows what is in our 401ks and pensions; I don’t even know why you think it doesn’t. It gets reported to the IRS.

          Insider trading is illegal, and people will always try to do it.

          Releasing taped conversations, blah blah blah – this is a potential abuse, but guess what? It is also illegal. And it being illegal doesn’t stop people from doing it. And frankly, well, you should expect it honestly.

          Deleting the hard drives of reporters? Who does this? Are you talking about the Guardian destroying its hard drives? In the US, the government cannot compel such. This sort of thing is more common in countries without freedom of speech, like the UK.

          • TG

            My point with pensions is this.
            We know from the leaks of snowden that the government does not have proper control of their networks. They could not decipher what he took and when. They don’t keep logs of this activity, according to members of the house briefed.
            Due to the fact they don’t keep tabs of who accesses what and when, it is impossible to ascertain whether or not there can be rogue elements in the agency reading the emails of warren buffet or other investors.
            The government did know what investors bought, quarterly, not as it happened. The ability is there now for unsupervised people to gather investor information that is incredibly valuable, because it is current, not a required quarterly report. All you would have to know is what these whale investors are thinking or planning to compromise the integrity of the market. Has it happened? Not yet, but when we build these security apparatus they need safeguards to prevent abuse. Until they know who accesses what when and actually supervise it our markets are threatened. The market depends on it.
            As for deleting hard drives, there was a CBS reporter. She consulted with private technology security professionals who ascertained it was what happened. The hard drives of senator Feinstein were also wiped.
            All sorts of things are illegal but we build safeguards to prevent the crimes from being gotten away with. The blackmailing of public officials over taped conversations doesn’t happen here like it used to, but during the 60’s under Hoover was widespread. It took public outrage during the 70’s to get legislation passed that reigned in the agencies again. I think if j Edgar had access to NSA tech he might have been able to shut down MLK due to his personal flaws.
            My point is only that our abilities have outgrown the supervision of congress and the people.

  • jnffarrell1

    Dreaming of losing his bootlegging franchise, Dutch Dopfner waited two months after St. Valentines Day to air his complaint.

  • Harold Hoffman

    How about http://LookSeek.com the non tracking private search engine, if we keep
    using Google they just keep getting more powerful day by day
    LookSeek it your next seach. Have a good day