SNS: Is the Net at Risk? A Conversation with Vint Cerf

2015-01-29

Volume 18, Issue 4
Week of January 26, 2015

In This Issue
Feature: Is the Net at Risk? A Conversation with Vint Cerf

  • About Vint Cerf

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Publisher’s Note: Anyone paying attention has to be asking the question: Is the Internet today more useful to those intending good, or to those intending harm? For cybertheft, or for commerce? To spies, or to philanthropists? And, most to the point: to spammers, or to “real people”? The answers are not at all clear, and to the degree that they are, they are not comforting. It’s almost as though the good guys came in first, doing what (mostly) the Net was built for – reliable communications between all nations, all companies. And then, after a while, we hit the SNS “Barnacle Theory”: Any ship left in the water long enough, no matter how beautiful initially, will become so encrusted with parasites that it becomes useless.While the Net is far from useless, one wonders if we aren’t seeing a steady degradation, even as we build out faster and better parts of it. We asked Vint Cerf to address questions like these at FiRe, and he did exactly that, in a conversation with the BBC onstage. You’ll likely be surprised at his answers. – mra.

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