Friday, April 13, 2007

The internot?

I sometimes think I may be the last person to still call it the internet as opposed to the internets, the intertubes, the inner tubes, the whatevers. But golly gee, maybe that won't be an issue that much longer. From AP for Friday:
Although it has already taken nearly four decades to get this far in building the Internet, some university researchers with the federal government's blessing want to scrap all that and start over.

The idea may seem unthinkable, even absurd, but many believe a "clean slate" approach is the only way to truly address security, mobility and other challenges that have cropped up since UCLA professor Leonard Kleinrock helped supervise the first exchange of meaningless test data between two machines on Sept. 2, 1969.
Right now the project is confined to a few projects, and those
and aren't expected to bear fruit for another 10 or 15 years - assuming Congress comes through with funding,
which so far has totaled tens of millions from all sources as compared to the hundreds of billions thought necessary to design and establish a replacement system. So why is this not just some techie sidebar? Because two parts of the article jumped out at me:
One challenge in any reconstruction, though, will be balancing the interests of various constituencies. The first time around, researchers were able to toil away in their labs quietly. Industry is playing a bigger role this time, and law enforcement is bound to make its needs for wiretapping known.

There's no evidence they are meddling yet, but once any research looks promising, "a number of people (will) want to be in the drawing room," said Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor affiliated with Oxford and Harvard universities. ...

[S]pammers and hackers arrived as the network expanded and could roam freely because the Internet doesn't have built-in mechanisms for knowing with certainty who sent what.
In other words, this "clean slate" is not only expected to eliminate anonymity on the net, it's going to "balance the interests" of "industry and law enforcement." In other words, it's going to be about corporations and cops.

Welcome to the future.

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