Google opens Internet research institute

BERLIN (AP) ? A new institute funded by Google to explore the impact of the digital age has opened in Germany.

The Institute for Internet and Society at Berlin’s Humboldt University will tackle issues such as Internet privacy, freedom of expression and civil liberties.

Google Inc. has committed euro4.5 million ($6.26 million) to the institute for the first three years as part of its recent push to invest in Germany, which has often been critical of the Internet giant’s practices.

Google vice president David Drummond expressed hope Tuesday that the institute “will be based on a philosophy of openness, open access, standards and an ability to innovation.”