Snooping, from intelligience agencies across the world, will eventually dismantle the internet as we know it, warned Google Chairman Eric Schmidt on Wednesday.
Speaking at an online privacy event in California hosted by Ron Wyden, an Oregon senator, the former Google chief executive said that the net would be localised to national servers if security agencies continue to use it as a platform for surveillance.
Furthermore, Schmidt urged the NSA and other intelligence groups to reform their online data-retrieval methods which has seen them clash with tech companies defending consumer data.
Google rival Yahoo last month announced that the NSA threatened it with fines of $250,000 a day until it gained access to the search engine's database.
The National Journal reported that Schmidt said: “The simplest outcome is that we're going to end up breaking the internet.
“Because what's going to happen is, governments will do bad laws of one kind or another, and they are eventually going to say, 'We want our own internet in our country because we want it to work our way, right? And we don't want these NSA and other people in it.’ The cost of that is huge.”
Last November Schmidt branded claims the NSA was snooping on Google data centres as “outrageous” and “illegal if true”.