Feeds

Google's Schmidt: I squeezed Norks to lift web blockade

Stop being evil, yeah? Well, at least I asked

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Google chairman Eric Schmidt ended his controversial visit to North Korea by declaring he urged the secretive state to embrace the "free and open internet".

Schmidt - no doubt keen to cram ever more online ads into every corner of the globe - argued that the Great Firewall of North Korea, which curbs citizens' web access, could prove deeply damaging for the country.

The search supremo said: "As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world, their economic growth and so forth."

He told reporters at Beijing airport in China that the Hermit Kingdom's "limited" use of technology in the country - which is said to be restricted to its elite state officials, universities and military - could eventually hurt North Korea's economy.

"The government has to do something. They have to make it possible for people to use the internet," Schmidt said, according to Reuters. "It's their choice now, and time, in my view, for them to start or they will remain behind."

Schmidt and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who accompanied him on the visit, failed to secure the release of Korean-American Kenneth Bae, who was arrested in December in the Norks capital Pyongyang for unspecified "hostile acts". Richardson confirmed that he was unable to meet 44-year-old Bae, who is claimed to be in good health.

As we reported last week, the visit by the two men on a personal capacity apparently unrelated to Google upset the US state department, which complained that the trip to Pyongyang was poorly timed. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.