Former Google CEO and current executive chairman Eric Schmidt has stressed that China is the world's "most sophisticated and prolific hacker."
Schmidt spoke harshly about China in his forthcoming book, the New Digital Age. According to extracts from the book, he describes the region as the world’s "most sophisticated and prolific hacker" of foreign companies. He also branded it "the world’s most enthusiastic filterer of information."
"The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States at a distinct disadvantage," Schmidt wrote. He argued that "the United States will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage, as its laws are much stricter (and better enforced) and because illicit competition violates the American sense of fair play. This is a difference in values as much as a legal one."
Schmidt, who urged North Korea for an open web, has a past of criticizing China’s government during interviews and events. Google has battled the region's authorities for years due to issues pertaining to censorship, in addition to the hacking of Chinese Gmail user accounts.
The revelation of his comments follow both The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal being compromised by Chinese hackers. Although China’s foreign ministry denied the accusations, the latter publication in particular said the hack was based on Chinese agents attempting to monitor its coverage of the country.