Google Chairman Eric Schmidt sees a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to NSA intrusion into private data. “We can end government censorship in a decade” Schmidt says, adding that encryption may be the solution. Indeed, Google, Facebook and Yahoo have all announced their intention to improve the security of their networks to protect user information.
Many of the NSA practices have come to light recently with the prominent Edward Snowden leaks. Among the details exposed were facts about the NSA tapping foreign fiber optic cables, cracking existing encryption protocols and depositing weaknesses into existing code owned by prominent tech companies.
According to Schmidt, Google already strengthened their systems ‘remarkably’ based on recent events, and predicted that the rest of the industry would likely follow suit. He highlighted the campaigns in favor of gay rights and same sex marriage in the US as examples of people pushing for change by organizing: “You cannot stop it if it’s a good idea broadly held.
Schmidt may not be far off the mark, governments are already struggling to keep up with changes in the way individuals are working to circumvent being traced and tracked. The Silk Road, a black market bazaar operating on the encrypted TOR network was shut down on October 2nd 2013 by the FBI.
Ross William Ulbricht was charged with murder for hire and narcotics trafficking as the alleged manager of the Silk Road. As of November 6th, Silk Road 2.0 is up and running. The actions of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have stirred the tech industry into action, and the way Schmidt tells it, world governments will soon be playing catch up.