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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Eric Schmidt Talks About Net Freedom, Privacy Issues

Google CEO and Machiavelli-fan Eric Schmidt did some evangelizing before a tough Washington, DC, crowd, speaking on the issues of internet freedom, and privacy in the age of long-lived digital storage. Computerworld reports:

Schmidt acknowledged that a completely free flow of information over the internet can be messy, but an unfettered internet gives people the best information, he said. “The internet has empowered people in a way we’ve never seen before,” Schmidt said. “What we say at Google is, ’don’t bet against the internet’.”

In the coming years, governments will have to deal with a series of questions as more people come online, he said.

The second billion internet users will often compare the way their countries govern with other governments, he predicted. “They’re going to see their government has been treating them badly,” he said. “They’re going to be annoyed.”

Eric also listed cases of Western democracies, such as France and Germany, where “posting information about the Nazi Party is prohibited.” Eric argues this will continue to be a struggle in the future, and he asked, “Have we gained more freedom than we want?”


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