- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BARCELONA, SPAIN (AP) - Abandoning an earlier policy of diplomatic restraint, the CEO of Google says the company is “very, very proud” of Egyptian employee Wael Ghonim, who organized protests in Egypt and was thrown in jail there.

Google previously said only that it was a “huge relief” when Ghonim was released from 12 days of detention by Egyptian police. He’s credited with operating a Facebook page that helped start the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak last week.

Like any company that does business in foreign countries, the online search leader is wary about making political statements.

Responding to audience questions after a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona Tuesday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said collaboration technologies like Facebook “change the power dynamics between governments and citizens.”

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