Universities Seek 'Clean Slate' for Internet Security Woes

A group of  university and government researchers has proposed a "clean slate" approach to solving the Internet's myriad security problems.

The group, which includes researchers Rutgers, Stanford, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and various Department of Defense research offices, said it thinks it might be time to scrap key components of the Internet that can no longer support today's complex computing and security requirements, according to a report by the Associated Press.

As part of the effort, the National Science Foundation is funding several university teams to explore redesigning the Internet through its Future Internet Network Design (FIND) and the Global Environment for Network Innovations, (GENI) projects, AP reported.

The Internet "works well in many situations but was designed for completely different assumptions," Dipankar Raychaudhuri, a Rutgers University professor involved in three "clean slate" projects, told the news agency. "It's sort of a miracle that it continues to work well today."

The European Union has also backed research on the rebuilding project, AP reported, through a program known as Future Internet Research and Experimentation, or FIRE. Government officials and researchers met last month in Zurich to discuss early findings and goals.

A new network could run parallel with the current Internet and eventually replace it, according to some approaches being considered. Other options include a major overhaul of the existing architecture. These clean-slate efforts are still in their early stages, though, and aren't expected to bear fruit for another 10 or 15 years--assuming Congress comes through with money.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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