Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was outraged by reports that the United States government allegedly snooped into the data centers of the search engine giant.
NSA’s actions “potentially illegal”
During an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Schmidt slammed the National Security Agency (NSA) and called its act of spying on the data centers of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) “outrageous” and potentially illegal if proven true.
“It’s really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that’s true. The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people’s privacy, it’s not OK,” according to Schmidt. He added that the Snowden disclosures helped people understand that it is “perfectly possible that there are more revelations to come.”
Schmidt also noted that NSA allegedly collected the phone records of all the phone calls of 320 million people to be able to identify approximately 300 individuals who are potentially at risk. He opined that the policy is not good and probably illegal.
Google made multiple complaints
Schmidt said Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) registered complaints against the agency, members of the Congress as well as President Barack Obama.
The Wall Street Journal requested the NSA to comment on the issue, but the agency reiterated its previous statement last week that all of its activities were lawful.
Last week, the agency said, “NSA conducts all of its activities in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies—and assertions to the contrary do a grave disservice to the nation, its allies and partners, and the men and women who make up the National Security Agency.”
Schmidt pointed out during the interview that balancing security and privacy is necessary while the agency carries out its duty to find entities that are threat to the United States. According to him, “There clearly are cases where evil people exist, but you don’t have to violate the privacy of every single citizen of America to find them.”
Schmidt on Google’s China operations
On the issue of expanding the operations of the search engine giant in China, Schmidt emphasized that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not in a hurry to do it because of the degree of censorship in the country.
Schmidt said Google will only go back to China once the government changes its policy. He pointed out that censorship in the country became worse since the search engine giant pulled out its search engine services in the country in 2011. The company transferred its search engine services in Hong Kong.