In his office within the gleaming-stainless-steel and orange-brick jumble of MIT’s Stata Center, Internet elder statesman and onetime chief protocol architect David D. Clark prints out an old PowerPoint talk. Dated July 1992, it ranges over technical issues like domain naming and scalability. But in one slide, Clark points to the Internet’s dark side: its lack of built-in security. In others, he observes that sometimes the worst disasters are caused not by sudden events but by slow, incremental processes — and that humans are good at ignoring problems. “Things get worse slowly. People adjust,” Clark noted in his presentation. “The problem is assigning the correct degree of fear to distant elephants.” [Click here to view graphic representations of David D. Clark’s four goals for a new Internet architecture.] Today, Clark believes the elephants are upon us. Yes, the Internet has wrought wonders: e-commerce has flourished, and e-mail has become a ubiquitous means of communication. Almost one billion people now use the Internet, and critical industries like banking increasingly rely on it. At the same time, the Internet’s shortcomings have resulted in plunging security and a decreased ability to accommodate new technologies. “We are at an inflection […]

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