Publisher: Harper Collins
In a recent edition of the International Herald Tribune, there was an oped article by Vincent Cerf expressing concern about the potential limitations and oversight being considered for the internet at an upcoming International Telecommunications Union (an organization within the U.N) summit. The nature of the article underlines the fundamental debate raging in today’s world where the unregulated internet is being used for both positive and negative outcomes and provides the backbone within which hazard and threat could potentially be directed at the world’s increasingly digitized social and economic structures.
The creators of the internet had no idea of the range and scope of its potential; neither did governments. Originally designed to support research and development within closed circles of scientists and academics, it has expanded through industry to provide a worldwide interface that has largely developed from the bottom up, free of regulatory oversight. This has always been touted as one of the internet’s strengths. Unfortunately, as Cyber War identifies, it has also resulted in being one of its great vulnerabilities (or opportunities depending upon your perspective). Clarke points out that this has been recognized but that nothing has been done for a number of reasons:
c. Concerns over privacy and regulation – how much is too much;
d. Boy who cried wolf syndrome – too many alleged threats with no discernible consequence;
e. Influence of big business ie Microsoft on the discussion; and
f. Disagreement on who is responsible for internet security/regulation – the Government or industry?