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Eric Schmidt expresses concern over PRISM, but calls NSA spying 'the nature of our society'

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Eric Schmidt Moto x
Eric Schmidt Moto x

Speaking at an event at the New America Foundation, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt addressed concerns over NSA data-sharing publicly, according to a report in The Guardian. Schmidt declined to blame the NSA directly, saying, "there's been spying for years, there's been surveillance for years, and so forth, I'm not going to pass judgement on that, it's the nature of our society." At the same time, he left the door open for political solutions. "We all have to look at ourselves and say: 'is this what we want?'"

"We all have to look at ourselves and say: 'Is this what we want?'"

The extent of Google's participation in the NSA's PRISM data-mining program has been the subject of much speculation, and Schmidt did little to clear it up, continuing the company's denials of bulk data collection but otherwise assuming the Snowden documents to be "roughly accurate." His largest concern was that concerns over NSA surveillance would lead to a more nationalized, country-specific web. According to Schmidt, "It would really break the way the internet works, and I think that's what I worry about."