MOUNTAIN VIEW (KCBS) – Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is blazing a new trail – and this time, it’s not happening online.

Instead, excerpts of his forthcoming book, The New Digital Age, are being published by the press. And, it’s being reported that Schmidt includes in the book criticism of China as the “most sophisticated and prolific” cyberthief threatening foreign companies. He goes on to describe China as the “world’s most active and enthusiastic filterer of information.”

It’s a sentiment that some speculate is shared by a number of Silicon Valley executives; but one that few, if any, have shared publicly.

“When they talk about it publicly, they bring this out from the shadows and put it on the front table and people start to discuss this,” said Shawn Henry, retired FBI cyberthief official, in praise of Schmidt. “When the government sees it and takes serious action, I think that’s when we’ll see some change.”

Henry, now president of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike Services, suggested that there actually should be more public criticism of China’s hack attacks.

“We’ve got to define what the red lines are for some of these nations, that our private industries are off limits and that our technology is not open to be stolen, and we are not going to stand for that or accept that.”

An official from the Chinese Embassy is quoted in the NY Times as saying its government does not engage in computer hacking, which is illegal.

The New Digital Age, which Schmidt wrote with former State Department official Jared Cohen, will be released in April.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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