Governments that promote censorship and commit cybercrimes are the biggest threat to the future of the internet, so says the chairman of search engine giants Google, Eric Schmidt.
According to Schmidt, every last node of the public web space would have to be upgraded in order to protect it from the new wave of online criminal activity, as the internet was built "without criminals in mind." The internet will remain vulnerable for at least another 10 years, as the prospect of redesigning the web in order to protect it was, according to Schmidt, a "huge task."
Speaking at the Science Museum in London last week, Schmidt said: "While threats come from individuals and even groups of people, the biggest problem will be activities stemming from nations that seek to do harm. It is very difficult to identify the source of cyber-criminality and stop it."
Schmidt was speaking at the Science Museum in order to promote a new initiative that will see computer science taught in schools across the UK, and to encourage more young people to move into the science and engineering industries. Schmidt has previously expressed his disappointment at the failure to teach computer science in British schools.
The issue of censorship was also raised during the talk, as it was revealed that over 40 governments across the globe now censor online material in their respective countries, compared to just four a decade ago. Schmidt described the battle against government censorship as " a fight for the future of the web," with "no room for complacency."
Governments such as China has known to use filters in order to control what their citizens see on the web. People will see different versions of websites according to who and where they are, without ever knowing that they had been censored. This is obviously something that would have a massive impact on the web and its users, particularly those of us in the online marketing industry, should it become a more widespread occurrence.