Sunday, November 04, 2007

Law of the Net

Vint Cerf, co-founder of the Internet, is stepping down from his role as chairman of the group Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (I-CANN), established in 1998 to manage the assignment of domain names and IP addresses as well as Internet policy issues.

As to the future of the internet, Cerf thinks billions more mobiles will be on the Internet, possibly 5 billion by the end of 2010. He believes there will be more broadband access, which means more applications that can use rapid streaming video or audio or large databases. Another possibility is that more devices will be on the net, appliances around your house, in your office, in your car, and things you carry around. Censor systems will be on the internet keeping track of heating, air conditioning, ventilation, hazardous substances and the potential for other hazardous conditions.

I-CANN's main challenge will be getting Internet Protocol version 6 into operation because the number of free addresses under the existing IPv4 system are rapidly running out. Cerf says we have until the end of 2010 before IP addresses run out.

Finally, and possibly most importantly the Net must be made more secure. In addition to technical remedies, other solutions will have to come from law enforcement, inter-governmental agreements across country boundaries in order to protect citizens from someone trying to do harm to them from another country. Cerf believes because of the complexity of the Internet environment, we will need something similar to the Law of the Sea and considering that took 20 years to develop we better get working on the "Law of the Net."


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