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Morning Joe
updated 4/23/2013 2:50:06 PM ET 2013-04-23T18:50:06

The investigation into the bombing of the Boston marathon is an incredible example of how technology has changed the way we fight terrorism, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said on Tuesday’s Morning Joe.

The investigation into the bombing of the Boston marathon is an incredible example of how technology has changed the way we fight terrorism, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said on Tuesday’s Morning Joe.

Not only did photographs capture and add surveillance to nearly every inch of the crime scene, police were able to track their suspects through a cell phone.

“The most interesting thing is that when the carjacking occurred, the guy left his cell phone in the car and that’s how the police, very cleverly, tracked the bad guys and ultimately the firefight that killed one was the result of that cell phone,” Schmidt said.

These technologies have of course created many dangers—the bombers reportedly learned how to build the bombs online—but they’re revolutionizing the way we fight terrorism.

“In the future, as terrorists have to opt in to using technology, the room for error becomes much greater, and millions of people with smartphones are able to catch them in their tracks and press rewind,” said Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas, the company’s internal think-tank, and Schmidt’s co-author on the new book The New Digital Age.

On Monday’s Morning Joe, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly explained how New York is using these technology to transform the way they fight crime and terrorism. The city is amping up its surveillance efforts by implementing threat-spotting “smart cameras” that identify and alert authorities to potential threats.

Follow Morning Joe’s newest, exclusive Web series, Afternoon MoJoe, for more insights from Schmidt and other innovators.

Video: What’s next for the digital age?

  1. Closed captioning of: What’s next for the digital age?

    >>> joining us now, the executive chairman of google , eric schmidt .

    >> this is big!

    >> yeah. we need to talk to him about katty kay . we need to find her -- well, we'll talk about that.

    >> as well as my google search .

    >> we have to talk to you about a lot of things.

    >> why don't we talk about the book first. director of google ideas which is google 's internal think tank , jar cohen there, co-authors of the new book, "the new digital age, reshaping the future of people, nations and businesses."

    >> all right, eric, what's ahead? what's next?

    >> or how do we reshape it?

    >> we think 5 billion people will come online in the next five to ten years. when these people show up a lot of really good things are going to happen and there are some things we should worry about. things that are going to happen are medicine and education. for these people this is a big deal . they're going from no information to a lot of information in one day.

    >> an absolute revolution. no in-between. we're going for some of these places straight from the agrarian age to the i.t. age.

    >> one of the things that keeps us up at night is the threat of violent extremism and terrorism. millions of people with smartphones are able to catch them in their tracks and press rewind.

    >> wasn't that fascinateing?

    >> obviously what happened in boston was a tremendous tragedy but look at what the crowd is able to do. look how they're able to track down evil and be part of a digital manhunt.

    >> we were talking around here having the debate. now it seems so 2003 about closed-circuit tv. how many we have, london has them all over the place. we're sitting here the day after the attack and we're going maybe we need are more of those in boston, maybe we need more of those in new york. we forgot, we've got millions of them.

    >> too many.

    >> the citizens took pick tuesday of everything but the most interesting thing is that when the carjacking occurred the guy left his cell phone in the car and that's how the police very clever tracked the bad guys and ultimately the firefight that killed the one was the result of that cell phone .

    >> okay. before we move on to other big ideas , jared, as co-author of this book, you're director of google idea, former advise of to secretary of state condoleezza rice and hillary clinton , adjunct senior fellow -- he's a rhodes scholar . how old are you?

    >> 31.

    >> stop. just stop doing that. you're making us feel inadequate. seriously. with all your -- come on. you want to just go home?

    >> i do. why don't they just do the show?

    >> so when you're 50 like me what's the world going to look like going online?

    >> you'll have 5 billion new people connecting to the internet .

    >> where is that going to be? geographically?

    >> the next 5 billion people are connecting in the parts of the world where you have the most conflict, the most instability and where the governance model is repressive and autocratic. we fundamentally believe that no nation in the world is worse office as a result of the internet survival so that only becomes more true in these environments. think about, this isn't islamabad coming online. think about what that does for education, for health. think about 5 billion new witnesses that can document atrocities that are being committed. of course there are challenges but there is a lot of good news ahead of us.

    >> everybody's empowered. you do a google search when you go to a doctor and instead of sitting there where the doctor is playing god --

    >> has all the info --

    >> you have as much info as you want going in there and a lot of doctors hate that. you can say wait a second, isn't there a possibility if you do that, this is -- we are empowered in every way from powered by a car and how we're taken care of and also democratically. i had had a political science professor who told me back in the '80s the soviets were mar for worried about a xerox machine than a cruise missile in west germany and she was right.

    >> the empowerment of information of people is really the way to solve almost every problem. when we went to north korea our idea was that if we could just get a little bit of the internet in there it would bring some doubt to this regime, somehow let people know maybe there's another choice besides this guy and this structure. we don't know if it's happened. but if you look at other governments, that little bit of internet allowed people to say, hey, we're not getting any economic growth, we're not getting any religious freedom . we need something better an allow them to organize.

    >> so where is google right now? how are you guys doing? the change that continues and the business landscape, but especially in your corner of the business landscape is just -- pretty damn radical and dramatic from net scape to yahoo! to google to facebook to apple. is apple up or is apple down. how are you guys doing? what's next for google ?

    >> what's next is what's next for the last year, which is the shift to mobile. what we see every quarter in our business is we see more and more people moving to mobile phones and mobile tablets an moving away from personal commuters and macs. you see this in the industry. so the tools and techniques for mobility are just getting better. there's a whole new generation of companies and applications which are mobile first or mobile only you'll carry around. these application will make your life better. some will be from google , some will be from competitors. fact of the matter is we're all becoming much more reliant on these devices.

    >> isn't that remarkable. i'm sure you're 99% mobile, mr. space age whiz kid . but even i, at 50, i look at this thing now -- like it is the edsel.

    >> it's heavy.

    >> i never carry that on the plane. i've now got my ipad. we're playing with the surface as well. it is lighter, it can do everything that thing can do when i'm on a plane.

    >> phones and tablets got to the point where they were just easier to use for the average person. you didn't have to configure them. you could type on them fast enough, et cetera . that's the future for a pretty long time, for another five, ten years. even beyond that.

    >> back to big picture . you guys were out together in the " wall street journal ." dark side of the digital revolution . you write, in part, this -- though it is possible to curb and monitor technology, once it is available, even the most refresive regimes are unable to put it back in the box. what does this mean for governments and would-be revolutionaries? while technology has great potential to bring about change, there is a dark side to the digital revolution that is too often ignored. there is a turbulent transition ahead for autocratic regimes as more of their citizens come online but technology doesn't just help the good guys pushing for democratic reform -- it can also provide powerful new tools for dictators to suppress dissent.

    >> in myanmar, in burma, where we just were, they are just opening up the internet . now you are seeing religious violence between the booedisuddhists and muslims. government could easily decide that religious violence is so dangerous let's shut that internet down because it is enabling it. then they'll miss out on all the benefits because they don't know how to handle the fact that people will say i don't like this or that group. they've never had free speech .

    >> how does google , how do other companies that want to get into china, how do you balance the challenges of having a regime saying, no, t w, no -- you're not going to allow this or that search. that's a dance, too. isn't it?

    >> separately though on the autocracy point, i think to think of dictators and autocracies in the future of having a dplailemma, being anti-autocracy myself. 50% of the world's population lives under autocracy. those populations are still largely disconnected. in the next decade they'll all migrate online. sort of a form of veshl urbanization. dictator's dilemma in the future is every individual will have multiple identities and profiles online and it will create a lot of noise and activity. for dictators the challenge is going to be distinguishing between what's noise and what's not to overreact to and what in fact is real that they need to potential address. they'll's miscalculate, they'll make mistakes and that will have the consequence of galvanizing people against them.

    >> eric, let me did you the question. how does google , facebook, yahoo! how do all these companies deal with china which is obviously -- has been the dream market since nixon first went to china. wanted to sell a pencil to a billion chinese now, it's gotten far more complex. how do you guys deal with the stress and strain of wanting to expand markets but also having a government that's very particular about what their citizens can search and what they can't?

    >> in our case we actually pulled out of china after a series of attacks on our infrastructure and because of this horrific censorship regime.

    >> you just couldn't deal with it.

    >> we couldn't take. it violated our principle. if we move to hong kong and the censorship occurs crossing to the mainland, we don't want other countries to get this disease. in our book we talk about a danger where autocrats say in africa could buy that censorship regime in return for minerals and they could again shut down the internet . we're very concerned that this open, free internet that circles the globe could get bull calkanized, chopped into various pieces.

    >> okay. book is "the new digital age, reshaping the future of people, nations and business." read an excerpt on our blog, mojo.msnbc.com.

    >> could you like take up golf and waste a lot of time? you'll spend too much money.

    >> i'm actually terrible at golf.

    >> that's the idea. we want you to waste time. go home and do what i do with my -- my 4-year-old son. just watch strong bob for about three hours. you're making me feel inadequate in every way.

    >>> this afternoon visit the afternoon

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