Microsoft-loving (former) security czar calls for closed internet
Vint Cerf's firing squad awaits
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.
On software security and spam <OT>
I only worked in the software for a year or so before getting annoyed with that attitude. But hey - on some point they will just have to scrap the entire source base and start over with whatever the specifications have evolved to. And the customers will of course demand the same features as in the previous version, which have been under development in 6 years or more.
LOL - what a joke. Closing the net to spammers? For real? That must be some good drugs! Care to share? Or don't you trust me?
Please get a clue before you make more of these nonsensical comments! And please don't relay them to anyone with any kind of public influence - perhaps except your local sysadmin.
The best way to stop spam would be, if people could just stop buying stuff advertised in spam - but realising that there will always be stupid people around, this is not gonna happen.
One viable step to stem spam would be to get people to configure their mail-servers properly. Through prudent practices for using my email (like not submitting it to "spamchannels", clicking "unsubscribe" links, etc.), and having well managed mail server, I am down to receiving 10-20 spam-mails a month, whereof most are caught by the server-side filters and the rest by Bayesian filters
In case someone still following this ... I have years (more than a dozen) of experience in the software industry and one thing that annoys me most is software owners (i.e. companies who paid programmers to do their job and own source code) who would rather keep prehistoric source code and keep adding features (and bugs, in increasing ratio) than to rewrite the whole damn thing to fit its (new) purpose. Requirements do change and so should designs and architectures, but who cares - if we use enough wire and plaster we can do amazing things with the old code. And when the whole thing is already dead under the load of its complexity, lets trash it and follow the newest fad (who would ever bother with software engineering!)
"Why should the part of the internet that's connected to the power grid be open? Why should that part of the internet that runs nuclear laboratories be open? Why shouldn't there be a closed internet? There are already relatively closed internets - and now we need to think seriously about expanding them."
I used to like Richard Clarke for his stand against the Bush administration regarding the lack of WMD in Iraq.
Now I see he is just a rabid fear-monger like the rest of them.
No one but a world class idiot would put a computer controlling the power grid anywhere near an open internet connection.
He is a wolf trying to scare the sheep into accepting one more sacrifice "for their own good."
This Is What 'Net Neutrality' REALLY Looks Like
This lifetime bureaucrat wants to - surprise! - completely regulate the internet and force a biometric national ID on us all to boot. There is no expletive adequate to express the antithetical nature of such nonsense to the freedom of the internet. Anybody who advocates for government-legislated 'net neutrality' is placing all of our freedoms at the mercy of cretins like this. You have been warned.
He has one point...
Why should computers that operate things like power generation facilities be addressable from the 'net?
IIRC the huge crash of the power grid on the eastern seaboard of north america in 2002 was traced ultimately to a corrupted computer in a generation facility in Nebraska or so. It had a virus.
The lay public has no business messing about with such systems, why put them on the net.