Google's Schmidt lashes out at China

Posted by Andrea Petrou

Google's Eric Schmidt has called China the "most egregious" example of a country trying to control the net.

While other companies are trying to expand their businesses into the country, Google's chairman has told the Guardian exactly what he thinks of the superpower's approach to the internet.

Speaking at a Summit in New Dehli, Schmidt told editor in chief Alan Rusbridger that the internet had emerged in plenty of different countries, with many of them having minimal laws with relation to the internet - making browsing the web both "free and open".

But Schmidt warned about others "dramatically" censoring or controlling the internet, with China, in his view, being the "most egregious example".

This is nothing new, but he did say that these controls extend to Chinese citizens who have spoken privately to newspapers, risking their jobs and families if the leaks were revealed.

The Google guru also raised concerns over recent reports that the New York Times' computers had been hacked, with American fingers pointing to China as the culprit.

He said, for example, a hacker of the New York Times would feel uncomfortable admitting to these wrong doings under the countries regimes.

"This does occur – I was just in North Korea, for heavens sakes," he said.

The interview comes a month after Schmidt criticised China in his new book, describing the country as  the world's most "active and enthusiastic filterer of information" and "the most sophisticated and prolific" hacker of foreign companies.

 

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