ad info

 
CNN.com  technology > computing
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
TECHNOLOGY
TOP STORIES

Consumer group: Online privacy protections fall short

Guide to a wired Super Bowl

Debate opens on making e-commerce law consistent

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

More than 11,000 killed in India quake

Mideast negotiators want to continue talks after Israeli elections

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Industry group: Security key to 'next generation' Web

IDG.net

(IDG) -- The Internet is on the brink of explosive development -- but if business doesn't develop proper safeguards for security, privacy, and reliability, governments will step in with unfortunate results.

That was the resounding message in Berlin Tuesday, where corporate executives met for a workshop entitled "Security, Privacy, and Reliability of the Next Generation Internet," sponsored by the Global Internet Project, a group of industry representatives interested in fostering the growth of the Internet.

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

"We are at a critical juncture," said Paul Gudonis, chairman and chief executive officer of Genuity Inc. The growth of a next generation Internet that is a "ubiquitous, always-on, broadband connection to the rest of the world" presents great opportunities, he said, but also great challenges. In the past year, he said, high-profile hacking cases, viruses, and government attempts to control allegedly illegal content have all raised questions about the freedom of the Internet from undue regulation.

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  Download free software from PCWorld.com
  ITWorld.com: The IT Problem-Solving Network
  TechInformer: The Thinking Internaut's Guide to the Tech Industry
  E-BusinessWorld
  Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  Top how-to's and advice from IDG.net
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletters
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Personal computing news and reviews from IDG.net
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
  News Radio
  * Fusion audio primers
  * Computerworld Minute

"This is a good time for dialogue: while the commercial Internet is still young," he said.

Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt said the next generation Internet, in which everyday devices will be increasingly networked, will pose much greater reliability, security, and privacy concerns than the current Net, because people will be much more dependent on it in daily life.

"It will be a far more pressing part of our lives than the e-mail or Web Internet of today," he said. If the public isn't convinced that the Net is reliable -- even more so, say, than the electrical grid of today -- then governments will be tempted to regulate it.

Similarly, he added, an Internet which is "essentially always connected" raises far more security concerns than one which people access via dial-up modems. "When we are all there constantly, security concerns are going to grow very fast." And new technology, such as positioning and navigating systems, raise a specter of constant surveillance. "Will there be a possibility to very actively locate individuals all the time, and store this information essentially forever?"

Bildt urged businesses to find solutions that will reassure the public about these issues, in order to avoid heavy-handed government intervention. "If people believe the next generation Internet makes privacy impossibly, I think there are major problems ahead," he said.

David Farber, chief technologist of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, said he doesn't know of anyone at his agency who wants to regulate the Internet. "Being able to control what the citizen sees is not conducive to a democratic society," he said.

But he warned that lawmakers will be tempted to act if safeguards are not built into the next generation Internet from the very beginning. "You can't retroactively decide security and reliability into systems. You can (only) patch them ... Here we have an opportunity to start from the bottom."

"Privacy is a major problem. Citizens around the world are scared about this," he said. Today's technology makes feasible a scenario out of George Orwell's novel "1984," about a totalitarian system, he said. "We know what you're saying, reading, watching, maybe even thinking. That's a dangerous world. It can't be solved easily, but we can make it clear to people that there are solutions." If business doesn't meet this challenge, he said, the Internet may end up restricted to a "couch-potato" style system for delivering passive content -- or people will simply refuse to use the technology, out of fear.




RELATED STORIES:
Analysis: Home workers can imperil systems
November 7, 2000
Report: Half of smaller and midsize companies will suffer Internet attack
October 12, 2000
Senate committee approves watered-down anti-hacker bill
October 10, 2000
Online merchants brace for holiday credit card fraud
October 10, 2000
FBI's 'Carnivore' spurs new e-mail cloaking programs
September 26, 2000

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Executives call for delay in cyber crime pact
(IDG.net)
A closer look at the e-signature law
(Computerworld)
Global panel issues Internet security recommendations
(IDG.net)
Group pushes for B2B security standards
(Computerworld)
FTC requests online privacy laws
(The Industry Standard)
Take caution against peeping Web sites
(InfoWorld)
Federal agencies face security grading
(InfoWorld)
Cybersecurity project threatened
(The Industry Standard)

RELATED SITES:
Global Internet Project
Genuity Inc
Federal Communications Commission

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.