Google encryption could end censorship

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Google strengthens its encryption

Google has been working to strengthen its encryption in order to create problems for governments attempting to penetrate it, according to executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos, the former chief executive said that the improved encryption technologies should be able to overcome countries with strict censorship rules in the next decade.

Schmidt has already made his view on government censorship clear in the past, visiting several countries such as Burma and North Korea to promote the advantages of loosening restrictions and urge governments to take on an open approach to the internet.

Overcoming censorship in China

Singling out one country at the World Economic Forum, Schmidt commented that the strengthened encryption will create a problem for governments like China's, who he believes are responsible for the majority of industrial espionage. He continued: "80 to 85% of industrial espionage is thought to be done by China. It's a real problem. No other country comes close."

While Google removed its services from China in 2010 following concerns over censorship and cyber attacks, Schmidt said that the search engine giant is still monitoring the country closely for developments. Noting that an increasing number of people are using social media in the country, he suggested that this growth could also lead to the relaxation of censorship rules in the country.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, has said: "Eric Schmidt has made it clear that Google believes that censorship in countries such as Burma and China should be lifted, with their governments having a more hands-off approach to the internet. It will be interesting to see whether the strengthened encryption technologies will be able to overcome such restrictions in the future."