Sunday, February 15, 2009

Do we need a "new" Internet? Would it require a "license"? What about existing e-business? Lessons from Conficker


John Markoff has a sobering essay in The New York Times “Week in Review” Section Sunday Feb. 15, 2009, “A New Internet: The old one is putting us in jeopardy”, link here.

The heart of his discussion is the proposal, with some efforts underway, to develop a more secure Internet , possibly based on the new IPv6 (allowing orders of magnitude more IP addresses) architecture available with newer PC’s and MacIntosh’s. One likelihood is that users would need “driver’s licenses” to use it, a proposal we have touched on before even for the current Internet. That would compromise anonymity and spontaneity. Although the current Internet would remain in place (presumably), it’s not clear how that could affect current business models based on blogging, social networking and associated advertising.

Nevertheless, we may have put ourselves at risk for an “electronic 9/11” by hanging our commerce on a technical infrastructure originally intended to be tightly secured for defense. (Just a stream of consciousness thought: one a civilian job I had with the Navy department in the early 1970s, I almost go to got on a Navy ship for a while and even live on it to implement a system.)

The article also talks about the ticking Conficker worm (or virus, also called "Downadup"), many a risk to corporate networks, having done little harm yet, but capable of segregating off a large part of the global Internet without warning.

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