Researchers Explore Scrapping Internet RRS feed

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  • Some university researchers believe the only way to truly create a secure Internet is to take a "clean slate" approach and build the architecture of the Internet all over again, an idea that has gotten some support from the federal government. Rutgers University professor, and project manager on three clean-slate projects, Dipankar Raychaudhuri said the Internet was designed for different purposes than how it is currently being used, and it is "sort of a miracle that it continues to work well today." The Internet's early architects designed and built the system primarily on trust, as they largely knew each other, and consequently designed a network intended to be kept open and flexible. New threats, like spammers and hackers, are able to exploit that open network, and recently developed security features add complexity and reduce performance. A major challenge to any effort to rebuild the Internet will be determining the role different organizations play in its construction, as the first time researchers in labs were largely responsible for original developments, but now the government and law enforcement will want to play a far more significant role. Meanwhile, the National Science Foundation's Future Internet Network Design program is funding research on the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), an experimental research network. Rutgers, Stanford, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT are among the universities pursuing individual clean-slate projects, as is the Department of Defense and the European Union, though any results from these projects are not expected to arrive for another 10 to 15 years. "Almost every assumption going into the current design of the Internet is open to reconsideration and challenge," said NSF's Guru Parulkar, who is leaving to become executive director of Stanford's clean-slate initiative. "Researchers may come up with wild ideas and very innovative ideas that may not have a lot to do with the current Internet."
    Wednesday, April 18, 2007 7:34 AM