Why do you need to know how smart the internet is?
In this video, TechCrunch founder Evan Williams and Google CEO Sundar Pichai answer the questions of whether you should know about the world’s smart telemetry, whether you’re going to need to change your web browsing habits, and what you can do to protect yourself against the worst of the internet.
TechCrunch’s Evan Williams is the founder and chief technology officer of the company.
The two tech giants are teaming up to tackle the next generation of surveillance technologies, which are increasingly being used in the context of smart home devices.
Williams and Pichais are both technologists, and have previously worked at Microsoft and Yahoo.
“I’m not going to lie, I’ve been working on this for a couple of years,” Pichia said during the Q&A.
“I was just on a plane, and I just couldn’t help but wonder how much we’re going backwards and how much I should be reading in the news, and that was kind of the point of this project.”
Williams explained how he was inspired to take on the task after the NSA’s Prism program revealed the massive data collection and data mining capabilities of the U.S. government.
The program revealed that Google and other companies are routinely tapping into Internet traffic and the personal data of millions of Americans.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there about this program, so when we started this project, I knew there were a lot more people out there who had a different understanding of the NSA program and that there were lots of people who weren’t as aware of this program,” Williams said.
“The goal of this is to really give a deeper understanding of what is actually happening, and the way in which we’re actually collecting this data.”
He added that the two companies are already working with the U:C.
Berkeley to improve their surveillance tools, which have already been deployed in some of Silicon Valley’s most popular high-tech companies, including the likes of Apple and Google.
“We’re building our infrastructure to enable more efficient surveillance, but we also want to build in tools that allow for the best possible privacy and security,” Williams explained.
“This isn’t something that can be built in a month.
It’s a two-year effort.
We’re working with [Google’s] security team and other partners to do that.”
Williams said the goal is to help governments and companies build a more robust surveillance system, which will eventually allow the government to spy on the internet without having to go to court to do so.
“I think we can achieve that,” Williams concluded.