Google’s Larry Page Talks Big Ideas at TED 2014

The inability to have a real debate about the surveillance programs in the U.S. is a threat to democracy. That's what Larry Page, Google's CEO, told journalist and TV personality Charlie Rose in a wide-ranging interview at Wednesday's TED 2014 (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver.

During the interview, Page shared his opinions on the National Security Agency (NSA), Internet surveillance and Google's focus going forward. Page talked about his company's interest in working on big ideas like Project Loon, which aims to bring "balloon-powered Internet" to isolated areas of the world, and wearable tech, according to reports.

Page also has an interesting idea about what he wants to happen to his billions when he dies. The search giant's CEO said he would rather give his money to Elon Musk -- a man with big ideas -- than charity. Musk, the owner of Tesla and SpaceX, is a well-known entrepreneur whose massive business ventures Page would want to support.

Threatening Democracy

Numerous companies in the technology sector have taken a public stand against mass Internet surveillance but some, like Google and Facebook, have had particularly strong opinions. Additionally, the day before PageEUs interview, whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared at the event via a telepresence robot. Snowden has made it clear that it is up to the tech community -- individuals and companies -- to change the way data is protected.

In his interview with Rose, Page criticized the size and scope of the federal government's surveillance programs, which he said threaten democracy. The decision by the U.S. not to be upfront about the programs is one of the primary things that concerns GoogleEUs CEO. Page's opinion is that it is difficult for a democracy to function when companies and individuals are trying to protect themselves against such secret programs.

"We need to have a...

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