Sunday, April 15, 2007

End of the internet as we know it?

I'm going to wait for the techies to weigh on this before I panic, but it makes me very nervous. The intertubes are working just fine for me, so why change them?
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.

The National Science Foundation wants to build an experimental research network known as the Global Environment for Network Innovations, or GENI, and is funding several projects at universities and elsewhere through Future Internet Network Design, or FIND.
I really don't like sound of that. It has a certain Big Brotherish ring to it. But here's a comforting thought.
Kleinrock, the Internet pioneer at UCLA, questioned the need for a transition at all, but said such efforts are useful for their out-of-the-box thinking.

"A thing called GENI will almost surely not become the Internet, but pieces of it might fold into the Internet as it advances," he said.
Evolving the internet I can live with. Replacing it totally with a new system to better enable eavesdropping and to satisfy big business concerns - not so much.

Libby Spencer

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