Feeds

Microsoft-loving (former) security czar calls for closed internet

Vint Cerf's firing squad awaits

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Richard Clarke, the man who served President Bush as a special adviser for cyber security, has a five-point plan for saving the internet.

Speaking at a Santa Clara University conference dedicated to "trust online," Clarke called the net "a place of chaos in many ways, a place of crime in many ways," but laid out several means of righting the ship, including biometric IDs, government regulation, and an industry wide standard for secure software. He even embraces the idea of a closed internet - which seems to have sparked a death threat from net pioneer Vint Cerf.

"A lot of these ideas go against the grain. A lot of these ideas are ones people have already objected to - because of certain shibboleths, because of certain belief systems, because of certain idealogical differences," Clarke said. "But if we're going to create trust in cyberspace, we have to overcome some of those shibboleths, overcome some of those ideological differences, and look anew at these ideas."

According to Clarke - who was also a special assistant to the President for global affairs and national coordinator for security and counter-terrorism - about 35 per cent of all U.S. citizens would rather shoot themselves than carry a national ID card. But he thinks they're being silly. He believes biometric IDs are an essential means of fighting online crime.

"One thing you could do with a biometric ID card - if you wanted to - is prove your identity online," he said, as if taunting his critics.

Yes, he realizes that internet mavens value online anonymity. But he insists this has nothing to do with biometric internet IDs. "One of the ideological underpinnings of the internet is that we're anonymous," he said. "Well, guess what? We're not anonymous. Amazon and DoubleClick and all those other companies already know everything about what you're doing online." ID cards don't eliminate anonymity, he explained, because anonymity is already gone. Then he added that Bill Gates agrees with him.

Next, Clarke called for more government oversight of the net. According to his rough calculations, 75 per cent of all U.S. citizens are against government regulation of any kind. But he thinks they're being silly too. "You don't want government regulation? Then just let your kids eat all that lead off their toys."

In short, he believes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should force ISPs to crack down on cyber-crime. "[The FCC] could, for example, say to all the ISPs, 'You will do the following things to reduce fraud, bot nets, malicious activity, etc."

Isn't the government one of the problems where online privacy is concerned? It is, as Clarke pointed out. He also called for a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fighting abuses of government power. "What if we had a champion in the government who we trusted on privacy rights and civil liberties? What if we had a government advocate with real power to ensure that the government doesn't violate privacy rights."

That's three points from the five-point plan. Two more to go.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.