At what point do we decide to jettison the thing and start anew? And what would a new Internet look like?
The Internet was built by computer scientists and originally funded by the U.S. government. Nothing like it had ever existed, so every step was uncharted. In staring at that blank page today, the ghosts of three decades of precedence haunt the mind.
Where there was no need or even possibility for deep packet inspection back in 1985, it's a regularity today. Where the concept of DRM existed only in scrambled Cinemax channels, there are a bevy of horrid examples of DRM in use today. I shudder to think of the "architectual" meetings that would be held regarding core-level DRM and censorship implementations, concepts that are anathema to the distributed, dumb core/smart edge founding principals of the Internet. The original idea was resilience, not control. The outcome of any modern effort to build a new Internet is guaranteed to be laden with technically invalid concessions to industry, rendering it weak, unstable, and ultimately useless.
A new Internet built that way isn't possible. The cat's out of the bag. Too many monied interests now know what's out there in that previously uncharted territory, and they're determined to ravage it for all they can and prevent any meaningful replacement that they don't control.
I don't think it'll be Internet2 either; heck, they couldn't even get it together to merge with National LambdaRail a few years ago. It's a great network, but isn't destined to be anything more than a very fast, yet small-footprint, limited endeavor.
The next Internet won't be built by design. Rather, it'll be created organically, from within the carcass of the current iteration. It'll be built with more J-B Weld and bolt-on parts. It'll be a mishmash of anonymous gateways, including Tor, private VPNs, anonymizing proxies, darknets, and subterfuge. It will be used to share information, data, and personal communication, but in a way that evades heavy-handed censorship from government and industry. It will laugh at attempts to constrain or control it. It will always be several steps ahead of the baboons.
It already exists -- but most of the world hasn't discovered it yet.
This story, "Building the next Internet" was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.