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Eric Schmidt: Internet Could Split in 2 by 2028

He says there could be a 'real danger' of censorship under new regime
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2018 6:03 AM CDT
Visitors stand in front of an electronic data display showing a map of China at the Global Mobile Internet conference in Beijing.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
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(Newser) – Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt suspects there will be two separate Internets a decade from now—and you're not going to be able to Google "Tiananmen Square massacre" on one of them. Schmidt, who led Google from 2001 to 2011, told the audience at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday that the most likely scenario for the Internet fragmenting is a "bifurcation" into an Chinese Internet and a US-led "non-Chinese Internet," CNBC reports. "If you look at China, and I was just there, the scale of the companies that are being built, the services being built ... is phenomenal," he said. "Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number."

Schmidt predicted that we will see "fantastic leadership in products and services from China"—but warned that there is a "real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc." Schmidt's remarks come amid resignations at Google to protest the company's reported plans for "Project Dragonfly," a version of its search engine that censor results Beijing does not approve of, Tech Times reports. (Schmidt stepped down as chairman of Google's parent company last year.)

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