Kaspersky: The Matrix Needs More Police

By October 16, 2009

As this year marks the 25th anniversary of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, it seems a fitting tribute to dedicate a post to the future internet dystopia conceived by Kaspersky Labs’ CEO and co-founder Eugene Kaspersky. Kaspersky laid out the plot of his latest dystopian cyberpunk novel his vision of the internet’s future in an interview with ZDNet Asia during an Interpol conference in Singapore. When asked what three things he would change about IT security today, the producer of one of the world’s leading internet security software suites replied, “Internet Design – That’s enough.” The problem? Anonymity.

“Everyone should and must have an identification or Internet passport” Kaspersky said. “The Internet was designed not for public use, but for American scientists and the U.S. military. That was just a limited group of people--hundreds, or maybe thousands. Then it was introduced to the public and it was wrong…to introduce it in the same way.”

“I'd like to change the design of the Internet by introducing regulation--Internet passports, Internet police and international agreement--about following Internet standards,” Kaspersky continued. “And if some countries don't agree with or don't pay attention to the agreement, just cut them off.”

One of the problems with internet security, according to Kaspersky, is that law-governing bodies are following physical-world paradigms that cease to have meaning as the internet grows.

“Governments understand that the problem is a very important one to tackle but they behave in a national way,” Kaspersky said.

“The minds of law enforcement are still focused on national borders, but the Internet does not have borders. It's a new world in which we have to think differently,” Kaspersky added. “That's why I always talk about the need for not just cyberpolice, but Internet police -- Internet Interpol.”

“It's a technological arms race,” Kaspersky said.

The security guru did not say who would be ultimately responsible for overseeing the various international agencies that would be needed for an effort of this size, but there’s a good chance that this person will be played by Will Smith or Bruce Willis.

To be certain, with the growing threats of cyber attacks, new securiy measures will have to be designed, but Kapersky's rhetoric -- the end of whatever personal anonymity we have left on the Web, the medium that knows more about us than any previous one ever could? Embargoes against noncompliant nations? -- should trouble anyone who is concerned about the future of an individual's, in some cases a nation's, rights on the web.

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