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At Senate hearing, Google warns of 'splinternet' but NSA does not budge

John Ribeiro | Nov. 15, 2013
Officials of a U.S. spy agency said declassification of certain information could harm national security.

Following reports of U.S. surveillance programs like Prism, some governments are taking measures to limit the flow of information over the Internet between their country and the U.S., Richard Salgado, director for law enforcement and information security at Google, told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, in written testimony. "Today, calls for the Internet to be regulated by the U.N.-chartered International Telecommunications Union or other United Nations institutions and put solely under government control are louder than ever," he said.

Brazil has, for example, proposed in-country data storage requirements under an Internet bill being considered by the country's legislature. The move followed reports that the U.S. spied on Dilma Rousseff, the country's president.

Companies like Google, which do not comply with the proposed Brazilian rules, could be barred from doing business in a very important market or have to pay "hundreds of millions of dollars in fines," Salgado said.

If countries proceed with data localization and similar efforts, the Internet will be broken up into a "splinternet" of smaller national and regional pieces, with barriers around each of the splintered Internets, he added.

 

 

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