Between foreign hackers and the National Security Agency (NSA), how is an innocent Internet user supposed to browse the web free of government surveillance?
Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, has an answer: Use incognito mode in Chrome.
Except that’s wrong—completely, absolutely wrong. The casual and ill-informed suggestion, delivered from the highest levels of the company responsible for Chrome, is dangerous to anyone looking for real security advice.
Incognito mode does not protect users from surveillance. Schmidt’s statement was so blatantly incorrect that a member of the Google Chrome security team—i.e., one of Schmidt’s own employees—could only respond with a very exasperated facepalm.
Curious that he would make such a mistake – maybe he just doesn’t understand how a key Google product actually works. It doesn’t give me great confidence he has any grasp of the current debate on surveillance. But then he is the man who told us (via EFF) “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”