Eric Schmidt: Internet Could Split in 2 by 2028

Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt speaks at the 2017 SALT conference in Las Vegas.   Richard Brian  Reuters

Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt speaks at the 2017 SALT conference in Las Vegas. Richard Brian Reuters

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that he believes the internet will split in two within a decade.

"I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America", Schmidt said.

You may notice a lot of "may" and "could" and "report" in the paragraphs above, since Google still hasn't confirmed that such a project even existed, much less how it might work - all Google has publicly said is that it's "not close to launching a search product in China", and it's worth noting that reports suggest the search engine is now a prototype.

Schmidt added that the "danger" that comes along with the innovative products being developed in Beijing is that a different leadership regime will emerge in government, along with censorship and controls.

Village Global and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Schmidt stepped down from his role as Alphabet executive chairman earlier this year, but he remains a member of the board and a technical adviser.

In its bid to suppress a memo revealing information about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, Google has sent an email to employees asking them to delete the sensitive document, The Intercept reported.

The news about Google's plan to build a censored search engine in China broke in August when The Intercept reported that the search platform would blacklist "sensitive queries" about topics including politics, free speech, democracy, human rights and peaceful protest, triggering internal protests among some Google employees.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government. He said that rather than splintering, we could see a China-led internet and the current USA -led internet.

According to the report, the so-called Dragonfly search engine would require Chinese citizens to log in to perform searches, track their physical location, and then share all of its data with a Chinese partner company that could presumably share it with the Chinese government.

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