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PRESS Pass: Eric Schmidt

As the debate over whether to curtail civil liberties in the name of national security gains momentum in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt predicts that the governments will increasingly use the power and openness of the internet to track and hunt down “evil” people.

“You have to do stuff to prepare for your evil act. And people will notice,” the Silicon Valley executive said adding that security officials are “foiling more and more plots ahead of time as a result of the information technology.”

Schmidt, alongside Google Ideas’ Jared Cohen, is the co-author of a new book called “The New Digital Age” which chronicles how online connectivity is reshaping every aspect of the human experience from business to global politics.

For instance,  the authors argue that the digital world can empower oppressed citizens living under authoritarian regimes. While Schmidt is concerned that the threat of information sharing may cause dictators in foreign countries to crack down on their citizens’ access, he sees some glimmer of hope in one of the most walled-off nations: North Korea.

“There’s evidence that even there internal pressures will force it to open up somewhat, which will make, I think, the world much safer,” he said.

Watch David’s full interview with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt above, including why the billionaire pioneer thinks that one day, sooner than we think, computers will serve as “an almost infinitely intelligent personal assistant.”