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Google's Eric Schmidt: 'the solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything'

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eric schmidt stock
eric schmidt stock

Since revelations of the NSA's widespread data collection and monitoring earlier this year, Google has staunchly denied working with the government agency and has taken it to task on a number of occasions. After calling the NSA surveillance "outrageous" earlier this month, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has come out against the agency again in an interview with Bloomberg News. "The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything," Schmidt said in a speech at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. "We can end government censorship in a decade."

Given the rather long timeframe Schmidt used in his example, it seems clear he doesn't think this will be an easy process. "It's always a cat-and-mouse game," he said. "In that race, I think the censors will lose and I think the people will be empowered." And while Schmidt does think that blocking governement intrusions won't happen right away, he did note that Google's been hard at work doing just that since the revelations earlier this year. "We have strengthened our systems remarkably as a result of the most recent events," Schmidt said. "It's reasonable to expect that the industry as a whole will continue to strengthen these systems."

His comments come just a day after Google's chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf made some comments that appeared to contradict Schmidt. "Privacy may be an anomaly," Cerf said yesterday. "It will be increasingly difficult for us to achieve privacy." That said, it's worth noting that Cerf was referring more to our social behavior on the internet and how new technology naturally closes the gaps that exist between people — not the widespread monitoring the NSA has been doing.