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Founding Father Wants Secure 'internet 2'


ACM president and Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf.

ACM president and Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf.

Credit: Joi Ito

A new version of the Internet might be the best way to defend against cyberattacks, says Internet co-founder Vint Cerf.

In hindsight, he and co-founder Bob Kahn should have focused more on security when they built the framework for the Web, Cerf says. "I would have put a much stronger focus on authenticity or authentication--where did this email come from, what device I am talking to... those things are elements that would make a big difference," he says.

A growing number of experts are considering starting all over again, and Cerf says he is very interested in the clean-slate ideas. For example, 41st Parameter founder Ori Eisen has plans for an Internet 2 called Project Phoenix, which would make use of biometric identification, encryption for all keystrokes, and virtual machines created for every transaction. Meanwhile, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is backing research aimed at redesigning the Internet.

However, analysts say that a government mandate, or support from the banking or telecommunications industries, would be needed to move any plans into the action phase. Cerf says the ubiquity of the current Internet should not be used as an excuse to do nothing.

From Financial Times
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