Number four: A secure software standard. "We should look, as an industry, at improving the quality of secure code, so that we don't need to issue software patches, so there aren't trap doors - intentional or otherwise," he said. "This is not a revolutionary idea. We put this in place a long time ago for electrical appliances."
This is Clarke's least controversial notion, but you have to wonder how effective it can be. Removing all bugs from electrical equipment is one thing. Removing them from software code - some of the most complex stuff ever invented - is another.
In discussing secure software standards, Clarke slipped in another plug for Microsoft. "This is an idea Microsoft has already championed," he said. And then he said it again. Bill and gang sponsored the conference.
And, yes, Clarke's fifth and final idea is a less than open internet. "Another idea that's already been rejected that I think we should look at again is the idea of a closed internet," Clarke said. "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."
Several years ago, when Clarke suggested the idea to Vint Cerf, the internet founding father had a fit. "[He] implied he was putting together a firing squad to take me out," Clarke said. ®
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."