It’s not the danger to privacy that worries Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of internet leviathan Google, about the National Security Agency’s vast data collection programs, but the fracturing of the global web that may result, he said on Friday.
Speaking in New York at an event hosted by the New America Foundation, Schmidt said a “balkanization” of the internet is his real concern, not violations of privacy from surveillance, something that’s long been occurring and that he won’t “pass judgement on.”
“The real danger [from] the publicity about all of this is that other countries will begin to put very serious encryption – we use the term ‘balkanization’ in general – to essentially split the internet and that the internet’s going to be much more country specific,” Schmidt said, according to the Guardian. “That would be a very bad thing, it would really break the way the internet works, and I think that’s what I worry about. There’s been spying for years, there’s been surveillance for years, and so forth, I’m not going to pass judgment on that, it’s the nature of our society.”
- Google’s Eric Schmidt Says Government Surveillance Is Just Part of Our Society (gizmodo.co.uk)
- Google’s Eric Schmidt downplays NSA spying (news.cnet.com)