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Eric Schmidt: Anxiety Over US Spying Will "Break the Internet" 179

jfruh writes Oregon Senator Ron Wyden gathered a group of tech luminaries to discuss the implications of U.S. surveillance programs, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt didn't mince words. He said that worries over U.S. surveillance would result in servers with different sets of data for users from different countries multiplying across the world. "The simplest outcome is that we're going to end up breaking the Internet."
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Eric Schmidt: Anxiety Over US Spying Will "Break the Internet"

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  • Very easy to solve (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @05:50AM (#48100965)

    Restore the prohibitions against spying and require real warrants to engage. No more dragnets.

    Things are just going to keep getting worse until it happens.

    • by Cenan ( 1892902 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @06:13AM (#48101009)

      Yeah, because we trust them to abide by the law. This is a problem that words on paper won't be able to solve. You cannot ever prove that the NSA (or whichever agency) does not snoop, even if the law says they can't do it. They have been proven to snoop, the cat is out of the bag, end of story.

      • by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @06:16AM (#48101017)
        They have been proven to snoop, the cat is out of the bag, end of story.

        And they've been proven to have no problem lying to Congress as well. "You didn't see it, so I didn't do it."
        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2014 @09:47AM (#48102123)

          We will not "break the Internet". Worry over spying may cause people to take more interest in protecting their privacy, which may break Google's business model.

          Boo hoo.

          • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @11:54AM (#48103319) Journal

            Worry over spying may cause people to take more interest in protecting their privacy, which may break Google's business model.

            Boo hoo.

            The problem isn't really with Google's business model.

            It also is not limited to the US government.

            Think back to various releases. News stories of the US government intercepting Cisco equipment shipments, installing back doors, and sealing them back in their original boxes with new factory seals. There are many news stories of logs with people communicating over supposedly secure connections and exchanging honeypot URLs, only to have the honeypot link hit several hours later by government-owned IP blocks or sometimes Microsoft or Apple IP blocks when using their 'secure' products.

            As a result of those we set up honeypot links of our own, and I've seen reports that a percent of our site-to-site messages with honeypot links really are being visited by IP blocks from several nations. This is not just the US government, multiple governments and probably multiple big businesses have their spying tendrils inside businesses. We're looking for and slowly tightening down on potential leaks, either that or the assorted groups are slowly hitting our honeypots less and less. I used to think some of our security policies were draconian, but seeing how many probably-government groups are watching internal messages, I've become quite paranoid myself.

            If someone cannot trust that their encrypted, supposedly secure communications are safe, they will stop using the products. When a government IP address hits a honeypot link shared over Apple's iMessage, does that mean Apple is a willing participant forwarding the messages while telling the public it is secured, or does that mean Apple is a victim too? Either way, iMessage is now one of many banned products in our workplace, sending any type of secure business information over it (or over Lync or Google's services or any but a short list of secure communications programs) has become a fire-able offense.

            When the news broke on the Cisco equipment being intercepted this spring, their stock price plummeted and orders slowed. I know in my organization there were several major purchasing announcements, and they only buy HP equipment now (although I'm sure those are intercepted just as readily). Cisco went directly to the POTUS both publicly and privately to tell them to stop harming the company. I would not be surprised if their lawyers are nearly ready to file lawsuits for tortuous interference.

            This is about far more than Google's business model. People cannot communicate within their own company infrastructure about business needs without some sort of government espionage or corporate spying. It is completely out of control.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            As intrusive as I find Google's business model there is no changing the fact that the vast majority of internet content exists only because of add revenue. If that revenue were to dry up then it is quite likely that the internet would be facing a large crisis as so many users have been conditioned to believe they don't have to pay out of wallet for browsing web content.

            This is not to support the sensationalist quote from Eric Schmidt, but merely to point out that Google's business model, and the business m

            • This was in a slashdot article a while ago, but it would cost the average user $230 a year to use the internet without adds.

              You say this while I have my re-subscription information for my professional society ... £198/ year, including access to the Society's journals and books online, and a considerable slew of other related international Societies' equivalent content. That's $US318, per year, for one subject. About the same again for TV service from the BBC (I don't know if that can be brought

          • by sudon't ( 580652 )

            I was gonna say, Google oughta know. They've got the best spy ring going.

        • by Tokolosh ( 1256448 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @10:43AM (#48102531)

          And the courts who are supposed to be overseeing them have proven to be no more than rubber stamps.

          I think the judicial branch has a lot to answer for in this whole mess, from letting AT&T retroactively off the hook, to accepting secret FISA courts, to issuing warrants to SWAT teams on negligible evidence.

      • by dugancent ( 2616577 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @06:57AM (#48101141)

        Cut their funding. No money, no spying.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2014 @07:26AM (#48101249)

          This. You guys are complaining about how bad your internet infrastructure is. Use the 10 billion per year that you are paying to be spied on to upgrade the nations backbone instead. I think that would improve many things.

          • The problem is not spying on US citizens, it's spying data from foreign citizens stored on US based cloud servers. Something the US will never stop doing any more than they will stop body searches on domestic/foreign flights.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            This. You guys are complaining about how bad your internet infrastructure is. Use the 10 billion per year that you are paying to be spied on to upgrade the nations backbone instead. I think that would improve many things.

            We tried that, and the major ISPs just pocketed the money.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Before that could ever happen, we'd need to upgrade the nation's backbone. Not the internet one, the other one.

        • by Cenan ( 1892902 )

          You're right, whatever agency has their funding cut won't be spying anymore. That won't solve the underlying trust problem though. It's not the NSA that people don't trust, it's USA.

        • Nonsense. Like the CIA, they already sustain themselves through the sale of contraband. Nobody is going to stop them without a war.

      • A fair point. It just means a complete reorganization of the internet is unavoidable.

        • by Cenan ( 1892902 )

          Probably. I think it's much more likely for legislators to introduce mandatory in-country hosting rather than mandatory encryption on consumer facing services. Simply because mandatory in-country hosting is good for business where they get their votes.

          • in country hosting won't stop the NSA and it will if anything expose people to increased threat from domestic sources. What is more, it gives a false sense of security that because you are locally hosted everything is A-O-K... when you're talking abut organizations that break into hardened government databases before breakfast.

            • US surveillance does not equate to NSA automatically. The provision in the law for US officials to request information from US-based companies on the data they hold from their customers is something that applies only to US. A country can easily protect its citizen from such sneaking around by preventing them to store any data on US sites. This would kill business for these companies outside the USA. That is what Schmidt is worried about in fact. That is what he means when he says it will cost US jobs.
              • This ignores that the information privacy laws in these other countries is often no better or often worse then the US. So you're just exchanging one set of snoops for another. And again, if the US government wants the data... chances are they'll get it so long as the information is centralized.

                The only solution against government snoops is decentralized storage in small obscure systems. The big cloud systems are the enemy.

      • An end to the enforceability of NSLs (ideally, an end to the entire concept) would help a lot. When US companies don't have to cooperate with the feds to the point of not even being able to reveal what's being asked for, the entire system is untenable. Remove the ability of the government to act in secret and with impunity, and things should get a lot better. Not perfect, of course, but it resolves one of the worst issues. We got by fine for decades without NSLs, and nothing I've seen about them indicates a

      • >This is a problem that words on paper won't be able to solve.

        Sure they could - they just need to be the *right* words, and they need to be enforced. Words like "given the insidious nature of the threat posed by a secret intelligence organization, any spying done without a warrant and proper oversight will automatically be considered high treason on the part of the individual responsible and every member of their command chain, and will be punished accordingly." And "$1,000,000 + indemnity bounty for s

      • You cannot ever prove that the NSA (or whichever agency) does not snoop

        Erm, the reason the NSA is an issue is because it is part of the one of the very few governments on the planet that did NOT snoop on your internet traffic as a matter of course.

        In other words, if you are from a non-Western country, it is guaranteed that your packets are being snooped and your traffic analyzed at all times. Even many Western nations do not explicitly guarantee that your packets are not snooped.

        Ultimately, nobody should have EVER trusted that their communications were not being snooped regard

    • Or crypto (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @06:18AM (#48101019) Homepage

      Or, alternatively use descent crypto and security procedure.

      i.e: don't count on the US and everybody else behaving correctly (As if there were any chance that Russia and China would stop spying) (or US for that matter. They'll simply spin another secret tree-letter agency that they can denying knowing it exists).
      instead count of the fact that there will always be fuckers somewhere on the net, and keep best practices to avoid becoming yet again a victim whoever might it be.

      Things like end-to-end encryption (total encryption between the two users communicating like OTR, CryptoCat, Jitzi, etc., not only on each leg to/from the server like HTTPS), making GPG more userfriendly, making Tor more popular, etc.

      then dragnet or not, user will be safer on the average, even from non-law abiding 3rd parties. (Not only safe from NSA, but safe from script kiddies too).

      • Eric is saying the crypto will break the internet.

        That is likely an exaggeration. It will change it. A lot of this cloud crap is dead. And that will hurt google. But the system can survive it in a new form.

        • Re: Or crypto (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sneakyimp ( 1161443 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @07:01AM (#48101161)
          Yeah Eric is just worried everyone will encrypt their gmail so google can't read it any more and target their ads. If everyone starts guarding their privacy, google's business model starts to look much less attractive. "If you scare everyone about the snooping, we can't keep snooping on everyone."
          • by DrYak ( 748999 )

            There is money to be made by selling proper crypto solutions.

            • Re:OTOH (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 09, 2014 @09:27AM (#48101949)

              I will never pay for closed source American made crypto software. Even though OpenSSL turned out to have serious bugs, at least it was open enough for people to find, make public and fix. I don't trust that an American company might have their hands tied by NSL when fixing bugs or "bugs".

          • Eric Schmidt point is clear, he confuse the Internet with Google's interests. It seems to him Google is the Internet.
          • To be fair, part of the "breaking" is not being able to de-duplicate data. Very large portions of what gets stored in the cloud is redundant. You might well have over 10 million copies of one song on a cloud service. If they're all encrypted with different keys you can't de-dupe and your storage needs rise by 10 million. Ditto for some email lists that millions subscribe to. If you can't de-dupe that email then you have a problem! Personally, I couldn't care less, but there at least is a technical argu
        • Eric is saying the crypto will break the internet

          He's right in that some of what we have now may become unworkable. But insulating the Internet from corrupt governments is progress, and we may well have to give up some of the utility that we could have had given the assumptions that there are non-corrupt governments. But that was an idealistic pipe-dream as such a thing has never existed in history.

          This moment is one of architectural correction. "Oh, what a pretty bridge we could have without winds and r

        • by vanyel ( 28049 )

          Exactly - what it will break are the defacto service monopolies like facebook and google, not the Internet, which will be improved by having services distributed.

      • Things like end-to-end encryption (total encryption between the two users communicating like OTR, CryptoCat, Jitzi, etc., not only on each leg to/from the server like HTTPS), making GPG more userfriendly, making Tor more popular, etc.

        then dragnet or not, user will be safer on the average, even from non-law abiding 3rd parties. (Not only safe from NSA, but safe from script kiddies too).

        What makes you think those products will make you safe from the NSA when the NSA has been found to be intercepting PC shipments, installing their own hardware, and resealing the boxes, then shipping them to the end user?

    • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

      > Restore the prohibitions against spying and require real warrants to engage. No more dragnets.

      And while we're at it I'd like a pony and a flying car.
      Aint going to happen.
      It's like asking a Lion to just stop eating Wildebeast. Pass all the laws you want. Make all the restrictions and checks and balances you want. The three letter organizations have huge budgets for "black ops" where nobody can know what they are doing. Not even Congress. Probably not even the people in the next office in the same three

    • Restore the prohibitions against spying and require real warrants to engage. No more dragnets.

      Things are just going to keep getting worse until it happens.

      Too late. There is no trust in the internet. None, nada. Nicht, Non, Nein, Zift.
      A new internet will arise, where all sessions are doubly encrypted. Workstation encrypts files, transmission is encrypted and receiver ( partner) receives and decrypts same. We are entitled to privacy.

  • Nice wording (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JeffOwl ( 2858633 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @05:51AM (#48100969)
    I like how the title of the article is "Jitters over US surveillance..." implying that the surveillance itself isn't the problem, we just need to get comfortable with it.
    • Re:Nice wording (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @06:27AM (#48101043)

      While surveillance itself is problematic, too, it wasn't a real problem before. I used to be comfortable with the fact that in some cases, police and FBI could wiretap phones and intercept email. So surveillance isn't exactly the problem either.

      The "problem" is that this power has been heavily misused and that the trust that surveillance would only be directed to crime suspects is now lost. And people losing trust in police IS a problem.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And people losing trust in police IS a problem.

        It is, but not directly related to this.
        This is about the rest of the world no longer trusting the US. You will sometimes see comments on slashdot in the lines of "The constitution doesn't apply to non-US citizens." and similar when human rights violations are up for discussion.
        That you see comments like that in a group that is supposedly well educated hints to me that there is a widespread lack of knowledge in the US about the UN bill of human rights and that the US has ratified it. (At least the more basi

        • ... there is a widespread lack of knowledge in the US about the UN bill of human rights and that the US has ratified it. (At least the more basic parts where it clearly says that human rights should be applied equally regardless of nationality.)

          What you're referring to is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the US helped to draft. And of course it doesn't include the ridiculous "Universal Declaration of Human Rights", which is a completely useless exercise in flexing international power, including a huge caveat on all of its supposed protection that basically says nothing in it applies if it gets in the way of the United Nation's plans and activities.

          But the ICCPR doesn't say that a country cannot confer right

      • And people losing trust in police IS a problem.

        Everyone should be distrustful of the government. Otherwise, it is difficult to maintain your freedoms. This is a healthy attitude for any free country. It doesn't mean you should blindly distrust everything, but be cautious of what powers they want and see how they could be abused.

    • Funny, I was going to say exactly the same thing...but focusing on the "US" bit.

      If anyone thinks that China, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, UK, hell, even Brazil aren't doing *precisely* the same thing to the greatest extent of THEIR capabilities, they're idiots.

  • Meaning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @05:54AM (#48100973)

    Did he mean "breaking" as in: services becoming more federated instead of being governed by 1 or 2 mega-corporations?

    • Re:Meaning (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Monoman ( 8745 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @06:04AM (#48100993) Homepage

      Probably. Breaking a business model and breaking the Internet are two very different things but they probably mean the same to him.

      • While the significant anti-Google sentiment among privacy advocates is not without merit, Schmidt has a point. There are basically two models for how the Internet could work when information crosses international boundaries.

        There's the free/Chinese model (free for information going out, Chinese for information coming in). You put whatever you want on your server, and that's what it serves to everyone who visits. If a national government has a problem with it, they selectively block it via a massive fi
    • Actually some of it already started happening before the NSA being busted:

      for the SWIFT payment processing, the financial information of European users are mirror on two NON-US nodes for very obvious reasons (IRS, etc.)
      only US users might have one of the two mirrors of their data on US soil.

    • And by "more federated" we really mean "more feudal". What Schmidt is worried about is Google's loss of world hegemony, which is inevitable as the rest of the second and third world gets wired and/or broadband. When he talks about concerns about US spying, he's really worrying about the loss of Europe.

      "It's a harder problem to solve because it's seen as personal," he [Schmidt] said. "We're very concerned that there will be a sort of 'Buy European' movement."

      He doesn't really need to worry about that as m

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      He was probably referring the the break up of the internet into separate, smaller networks with separate DNS root servers and country scale firewalls. Banks no longer trust the open internet with a layer of SSL on top, so they start requiring dedicated apps that set up a VPN connection to their hard coded IP address and crap like that.

  • by GeekWithAKnife ( 2717871 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @05:55AM (#48100977)

    As usual, creative people will find solutions to make the spying irrelevant.

    From decentralizing and conception to storing data where the US (and others) cannot legally reach it etc.

    The US and other agencies dug themselves a hole. They have shown us they are weary of strong encryption standards and good security practices by individuals.

    They've shown us that we cannot trust them to use data responsibly and that we should avoid sharing anything with them.
    • From decentralizing and conception to storing data where the US (and others) cannot legally reach it etc.

      That, and decent crypto and other such security means.
      (OTR for chat, GPG for e-mail, TOR for traffic, etc.)
      (code reviews, the whole openssl/libressl/boringssl story, truecrypt/ciphershed, etc.)

    • by Megol ( 3135005 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @06:40AM (#48101085)

      The US have stated that trying to have an international trial against a US citizen (for e.g. crimes against humanity) will result in use of military force. Do you really think anything is off limits for a government with that attitude? Remember this are laws the US recognizes and even was one of the parties who created them and enforced them (e.g. at the Nuremberg trials).

      The US is rapidly becoming the biggest enemy of itself and no, while a superpower it can't simply ignore the opinions of the rest of the world.

      • Remember this are laws the US recognizes and even was one of the parties who created them and enforced them (e.g. at the Nuremberg trials).

        I assume you are referring to the U.S. response to the creation of the International Criminal Court. If so, then the fact is that the "laws" the ICC is set up to enforce include laws which the U.S. has NOT recognized, not just the ones which the U.S. has recognized.

      • The US have stated that trying to have an international trial against a US citizen (for e.g. crimes against humanity) will result in use of military force.

        You seem unaware that the Treaty giving the ICC its power has NOT been ratified in the USA.

        Alas, non-signatories to treaties aren't actually legally bound by them....

  • Anxiety over US spying already broke lawfull access to data on cellphones for law enforcement agencies when Apple and Google declared that activating phone encryption will now be default.

  • The result of data localization for most consumers would be a slower Internet experience

    wat

  • by stevez67 ( 2374822 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @06:26AM (#48101041)
    Every country (and reasonably sized corporation) on the planet is doing the same thing, always has done the same thing, always will do the same thing. Only fools believe their online activity is safe from snooping or ever will be.
    • I'd still rather my data to be snooped by my own country's security services than by the Americans (if though there's an awful lot of data sharing between then). As such, I might be inclined to buy services from local suppliers than from Google. That's bad news for the US, in two ways - 1) it removes a bit of revenue from American companies, and 2) it promotes non-american companies, and the technology they need. Ultimately that means places like silicon valley stop being one of the few centres of technolog

      • by chihowa ( 366380 ) *

        I'd still rather my data to be snooped by my own country's security services than by the Americans

        Out of curiosity, why do you feel this way?

        Personally, I'd rather not be spied on at all. But if anyone were to spy on me, I'd prefer it be a foreign government who can't directly affect my life or freedom. Do you really trust your own government so implicitly? What do you think the Americans are going to do to you?

        • To elaborate, even (especially?) in the countries where the US government has a direct impact on foreign citizens' lives (drone strikes, etc), the local government kills/imprisons more of its own citizens under questionable circumstances than the US does.

          Don't construe my comment as excusing or apologizing for the actions of the US government abroad. I'm only saying that your own government is more of a threat to your life and liberty than any foreign government, if only because of its proximity to you. His

      • I'd rather be spied upon by foreigners than my own government because they have less reason to want to harm me.
  • Interesting that Google was represented by its executive chairman while Facebook, Microsoft and Dropbox seem to have been represented by their respective legal counsel.

    Disclaimer: For all I know, other executives from Facebook, MS and Dropbox might well have been present but the article says nothing on that front.
  • The real problem is that there is nowhere to store data that is completely neutral as long as the US and the Five Eyes countries are free to ignore international law. Encryption can help, but not as long as the NSA or GCHQ can monitor everything and put backdoors in.

  • by RR ( 64484 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @06:56AM (#48101139)

    My problem is that I want to control my data by placing it on systems under my control. Storing everything on Google is fine for Eric Schmidt because Eric Schmidt owns (many shares and a significant amount of control) of Google. Storing everything on Google is not so good for me because I don't.

    And that's the real issue. Google and Facebook's entire business model is to violate my privacy. I don't know if Dropbox does anything with your data, but they've definitely chosen convenience over security. [lifehacker.com] I'd rather store my stuff on SpiderOak [spideroak.com] than Dropbox. As long as my data are available to somebody other than me, then my data are vulnerable to hackers and immoral government officials.

    • by chihowa ( 366380 ) *

      The only tangible (and verifiable) difference between Dropbox and SpiderOak is marketing. If, tomorrow, Google or Facebook started making the same security claims that SpiderOak makes now, would you trust them? Don't be so quick to trust unsubstantiated claims just because they're marketed toward your specific hopes and desires.

      • by RR ( 64484 )

        Sure, I'd rather store stuff on my own machines than SpiderOak. A cursory read of how some SpiderOak features work doesn't give me confidence that it's an especially secure option once you start sharing files. But it's still much better than leaving everything in plaintext in Dropbox. I just link to them as an alternate to one of the panel's participants, where the alternate is actually viable already.

        If Google and Facebook made the same claims as SpiderOak, then I'd be inclined to trust. There are laws abo

  • by peppepz ( 1311345 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @07:20AM (#48101225)
    DRM in HTML will “break the internet” too, and you pushed for it. Surveillance sucks whether the data is gathered by a hostile government or by a friendly commercial entity.
  • Background article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by return 42 ( 459012 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @07:22AM (#48101229)

    If you have time to read 12,000 words, the New Yorker ran an excellent article last year detailing US surveillance programs and Senator Wyden's efforts to rein them in.

    "State of Deception" [newyorker.com]

  • were much greater threats to the internet.

  • ... it doesn't mean they're not out to get you :)
    But as several others said, I see this as more of a threat to Google's business model than to the internet.

  • servers with different sets of data for users from different countries multiplying across the world.

    That will work, because we can all trust our own countries not to have bilateral sharing agreements with the US, and the US not to have illicit access to data stored in other countries. Can't we?

  • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @08:26AM (#48101515) Journal

    spying is spying

    whether it's our Totalitarian Big Brother or our Capitalist Creepy Uncle

    spying is spying

  • Anxiety over it? No. The spying itself? Ah yeah!


    I like how this is slipped in there, like we shouldn't have any worries because it applies to only other countries data, like domestic spying is all just peachy and not slowing a thing, but that foreign intelligence, that's the REAL culprit!!!
  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @08:43AM (#48101613)
    and it already has in a few places, i think Iran has pulled the plug

    i think more nations will cut the international wires and develop their own internet within their own nation's borders sort of like a Nation wide LAN, various governments may have some international connections to the WWW but there will be mostly separation between nation's, i dont mind this at all and would stop most of the international cybercrime,
  • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@gma i l .com> on Thursday October 09, 2014 @08:43AM (#48101615) Journal

    different sets of data for users from different countries multiplying across the world.

    So what? I don't care if my data is "out of sync" in Kabul or Beijing or Kuala Lampour or London or Sao Paulo. It's not a problem for me. However, companies attempting to monetize that data (Hello, Google, etc.) by selling it to advertisers across the globe ... it makes that data harder to sell. Awww. That won't break the internet - if anything it's an improvement, since someone in Nigeria now has to hit servers in North America to get information for spearfishing - something that will be easier to track.

    • by pmontra ( 738736 )

      I'm afraid it's a problem for all of us. I quote TFA:

      If a two-person startup had to build a data center in Germany just to serve customers there, it would never get off the ground, he said.

      That won't prevent NSA (or anybody else) from breaching into that data center from the Internet and keep spying. The only thing that would force them to actually send operatives in Germany is to literally break the Internet. So you won't be able to get to Germany from the USA and vice versa. No connection, not even like

      • If a two-person startup had to build a data center in Germany just to serve customers there, it would never get off the ground, he said.

        That's a so-obvious false assumption. A two-person startup doesn't have to build a data center - most start-ups lease server space or do colocation.

        As well, the "requirement" is one that Schmidt has made up - there is no actual "requirement". Google's servers are already not synched - if I do a google search in the US, I get a different set of results than I do in Canada. This is a bunch of hand-waving.

        • by pmontra ( 738736 )

          Obviously that data center would be virtual. My point was: why should we jail data in a country if any agency from around the world can still crack into it over the Internet? To make that measure effective we must prevent people from connecting to a data center in another county, service owners included. They must fly there or hire somebody living there. The service will be partitioned by country with no exchange of data whatsoever. Feasible but costly for Google, impossible for any small startup. A consequ

          • Only Schmidt is saying that data would end up being "jailed." It's BS. He's trolling, the same as he did in 2009 [huffingtonpost.com]:

            If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

            That's ridiculous, the same sort of mentality that says "you shouldn't mind our searching your home if you have nothing to hide."

        • That's a so-obvious false assumption. A two-person startup doesn't have to build a data center - most start-ups lease server space or do colocation.

          Which would imply that large virtualisation providers (e.g. Amazon or Akamai) will have to set up local operations in each country (or region, such as .EU) that they want to operate in, and they'll have to satisfy local laws about prevention of unauthorised external access from the likes of NSA.

          Since the management of US-owned corporations cannot be trusted to

          • Which would imply that large virtualisation providers (e.g. Amazon or Akamai) will have to set up local operations in each country (or region, such as .EU) that they want to operate in, and they'll have to satisfy local laws about prevention of unauthorised external access from the likes of NSA.

            It implies nothing of the sort. What it means is that anyone can just make a deal with a local service provider to lease a server or a slice of a server. The world isn't all Amazon or Akamai.

            Schmidt was trolling, and you fell for it. And as I pointed out, this was not the first time.

  • by simonreid ( 811410 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @09:07AM (#48101753)

    Eric is confusing two issues, probably purposefully.

    The issue of illegal (at least against US citizens) mass surveillance by the NSA and the like is one problem - but as others have pointed out, its something that should be assumed to always be happening, and doesn't have any real impact on the internet. People make a fuss about it, particularly in the US, but I think most people assumed it was happening anyway and it hasn't really changed the way that people, businesses or governments operate. Just look at the recent Silk Road [slashdot.org] story as an example

    The issue that has everyone jittery is the close cooperation that has been shown between the US Government and US based companies, and from a legal perspective the stance that the US government is taking on data stored by US companies, outside the US, for a non-US entity. This has a huge effect on Google's business in particular, not as an adverting company - I would be surprised if they are loosing a significant amount of their consumer business - but rather their growing enterprise / cloud business. No one outside the US will want to switch to Gmail if their email can be read, without their knowledge, by the US Government issuing a National Security Letter, or even just by any local judge issuing a subpoena.

    This is what they are talking about when they say you have to start a data center in Germany just to serve customers there. Its not the NSA hacking your system, or even snooping on the wire people are worried about. Its the legal and risk issue that the US government can seize your data, without any notification, and you have no legal recourse to prevent it happening.

    Its a great opportunity for companies in Europe, but if your a US headquartered company, as Google is, its going to break *your* small part of the internet

  • Google doesn't like the competition.
  • from the old internet demise.
  • Sorry Mr. Schmidt... it's not ANXIETY over small pox that kills, it's small pox that kills. Just like it's not ANXIETY over surveillance, it's the actual surveillance that causes the damage. Distrust of a government, dislike of corporate oligarchs, all attitudes created by actions, not user perceptions. What the hell ever happened to 'Don't Be Evil'.. ya right.
  • Ok I'm really scared now there must be something wrong with me when I find myself rooting for the US to continue spying on everyone...

    "The simplest outcome is that we're going to end up breaking the Internet," said Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman. A splintering of the Internet would have costs in terms of science, knowledge, jobs and other areas, he said.

    The Internet was designed to work without borders and can't reach its full potential with barriers between countries, said Colin Stretch, Facebook's general counsel. The result of data localization for most consumers would be a slower Internet experience and less personalized services, because Internet companies couldn't take advantage of economies of scale.

    Rumor has it Eric Schmidt in the very same breath went on to say less is more, left is right, up is down, dark is light and...dramatic pause.... evil is good.

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