Eric Schmidt thinks encryption is the answer to many of the internet's problems. Google's executive chairman said last November that "encrypting everything" could "end government censorship in a decade." Now Schmidt says that in that same decade, encryption could "open up countries with strict censorship laws," giving their people "a voice."
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Schmidt said that Google was attempting to strengthen its encryption so the world's governments "won't be able to penetrate it" and obtain private data. Those efforts, Schmidt said, would create particular problems for "governments like China's," which he thought responsible for "80 to 85 percent of the world's industrial espionage." The Google chairman also said he saw the eventual relaxation of Chinese censorship over time as the number of people using social media in the country continued to grow.
"80 to 85 percent of industrial espionage is thought to be done by China. It's a real problem."
Schmidt suggested the debate over the NSA surveillance scandal was good for the world, but also chastised the US government, saying "because you can do this monitoring does not mean you should do this monitoring." He was also asked his reaction to comments made by Microsoft that suggested non-US customers would be able to store their data outside of the US. "I don't understand it," was his reply.