This guy. I saw Die Hard 4, too, man.
What he describes is maybe, maybe possible. That the entire worldwide internet would come crashing down around itself. But probably not. A few bits and pieces might fall off the edges for a while, but it would recover, right?
I somewhat chuckled at the mention of “we need an Internet 2!!” Actually there is one. Or there was one anyway (does it still exist?), actually called, “Internet 2.” IIRC it was a totally high speed linkup between universities and stuff to research and do exactly what is described here. Create a better internet that actually won’t crash in the event of nuclear war. Which is why the one we have now was invented. And it works pretty well.
The examples given, quite frankly were either due to human f*ckups, or were repaired rather quickly. Stuxnet? Please.
The assertion in a nutshell is that the trust that holds “the internet” together is fragile. No shit. No more so than the trust that holds anything together. From marriages to economies to ethernet packets. Unless you’re going to engineer an entirely new security layer on top of existing protocols… and then, how do you know it isn’t backdoored or vulnerable to deception? Eventually, it falls on the basic fact that at some level you have to have a layer of trust, of blind faith even.
Actually what I see between the lines is not so much that, but the subtle implication that “somebody” must be responsible for this security. Whether that be a government entity or a single private corporation or a “consortium” of corporations…. the implications there are spine shivering. That’s the fucking beauty of the internet as we know it, man. That really, NOBODY “owns” it.
What he’s proposing here (if I understand the summaries) is a private backbone. There isn’t any reason this can’t exist today (and I’m sure there are several of these already in place), but to say that it would be the “backup for the internet” is a bit much. Entirely new protocols and such? Re-invent the wheel why don’t we? Let’s make it rounder! And not tell ANYONE how it works! I don’t get it. No, wait, actually I do, and this is the part that scares the shit out of me. “You want on our new shiny private hack proof backbone? Sure! Write me a check and sign this NDA!”
And so you know, the “internet” is not made up of the “world wide web” alone. I hate that one. “The web.” OMG TEH FACEBOOKS ARE DOWN! I CANT TWEET. ITS THE APOCALYPSE. HOW WILL I BUY MP3s!!!?? I CANT WATCH SEASON 3 OF SWAMP HILLBILLIES on NETFLIX!!!
Yeah. Let’s not panic just yet. Maybe it would be for the best.
(Of course I’m talking out my ass, and going off of what these other articles are saying, as I don’t have time to actually find the talk (I didn’t see a link) or a transcript and watch/read it… like any of them did, either.)
- Defending the internet itself: Danny Hillis at TED2013
- The Internet Needs a Plan B
- “We Need a Plan B for the Internet,” Warns Internet Pioneer Danny Hillis
- Tech Guru Warns Of Internet “Disaster” (Yeah I linked to infowars… ha, you just felt your brain shrink, I know I did!)