In a recent talk given to the media at an awards dinner for the National Press Foundation, the Executive Chairman of Google detailed what he believes to be the three main problems the internet faces today. Describing the internet as ‘not a utopia,’ Eric Schmidt talked for ten minutes on the obstacles the internet faces today. The number one problem he noted was that of hackers and cyber-criminals, noting that the internet was not conceived nor built with criminals in mind. He suggested that inherent vulnerabilities from a lack of foresight would be around for at least another decade.
The second biggest problem facing the internet today is that there was no delete button. As we all know, once something is out there, it stays out there, which has caused great concerns over many individuals’ right to privacy. Subtly implying that legislation may not be the right way to tackle the issue of privacy on the internet he added, “I certainly hope that ranking and other such things will emerge that can distinguish between truth and falsehood” in relation to internet slurs that had haunted one person from their youth into adulthood.
Finally, he said that censorship, a fight very near to the heart of Google, was the third problem. He spoke about how many people do not even know what material has been censored and that “We face the very real possibility of a future where software silently deletes our thoughts, our voices and our culture.”