Google chief fears surveillance scandal could ‘break the Internet’

google chief fears surveillance scandal could break the internet eric schmidt
Representatives from some of the biggest names in tech had some harsh words to say about the US government surveillance scandal on Wednesday during a meeting examining the potential ramifications of the spying activities.

The special event in Palo Alto involved the likes of Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith, and Dropbox representative Ramsey Homsany, Cnet reported.

The panelists put their views to Democratic senator for Oregon Ron Wyden , with Schmidt warning that the impact of the surveillance is not only “severe and getting worse,” but could even end up “breaking the Internet.”

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year blew the lid off the government’s surveillance activities, releasing official documents that showed surveillance of Web users to be far more extensive than most people had imagined.

Global effects

During the meeting, the speakers focused on the global knock-on effects of the Snowden revelations, highlighting how some governments are seeking to make tech firms build data centers within their borders in a bid to improve security. If every country ends up following this path, the tech companies said, the costs would be astronomical and could ultimately damage the US economy.

Fallout from the NSA scandal has already hit American firms, including Verizon, which recently lost its contract with the German government over concerns linked to network security. Snowden’s documents suggested that more than 120 world leaders were targeted for surveillance by the NSA, with German leader Angela Merkel among them.

Trust issues

Microsoft’s Brad Smith also voiced concerns at the Palo Alto meeting, saying that in the same way as someone wouldn’t leave their money with a bank they don’t trust, nor would they use an Internet they don’t trust.

Ramsey Homsany of Dropbox backed up the other speakers with the assertion that the faith and confidence customers need to have in businesses with a Web presence has started to “rot from the inside out.”

Senator Wyden said that while he believed some government surveillance was necessary, he agreed there was a need to make changes to existing US laws in an effort to rebuild the trust of the American people and governments around the world.

Acknowledging that there was a real threat to the digital economy, Wyden promised to do his best to persuade lawmakers to take the necessary action, which includes imposing strict controls on the NSA, to save it from further damage.

Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

From 'GLOW' to 'Haunting of Hill House,' these are the best Netflix Originals

Netflix's stable of content has grown quickly, and the streaming service now boasts dozens of shows produced in-house. Looking for the cream of the crop? These are our picks for the best Netflix Original series.
Computing

3DMark’s Port Royal lets you benchmark ray tracing on Nvidia’s RTX cards

UL is adding another benchmarking utility to its popular 3DMark suite to help gamers measure their graphics card's ray tracing performance. You'll soon be able to measure how Nvidia's RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti stack up.
Computing

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Computing

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Computing

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.
Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.