Time for U.S. to assert itself on the Internet, report says

Council contends the Internet is too important to leave governance to someone else

The international community has failed to develop an effective model for governing the Internet, and the United States must assert its interests in overseeing the infrastructure that plays a vital part in its national security and economic well-being, according to a new report from the Council on Foreign Relations.

The report, by Robert Knake, notes that the annual cost of cyber crime is estimated at $1 trillion and that cyberattacks are becoming a part of warfare and diplomacy.

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“While no fewer than six U.N. bodies and multiple regional and national forums have sought to build a consensus on the future of Internet governance, there has been little progress thus far,” the report states. “The United States has largely abstained from these discussions, instead focusing on developing its own offensive and defensive cybersecurity capabilities while entrusting the ongoing stability of the system to the expertise of the private sector.”

Knake said the United States can no longer afford to cede the initiative on Internet governance to nations that do not share its interests, and the country should pursue its own agenda for dealing with cyber warfare, cyber crime and state-sponsored espionage through legislation and technology.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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Reader Comments

Wed, Oct 13, 2010 Chris Boyd

Excuse me, but there are already "seperate non-connected to public internet network[s]." They were very popular in the 1990s, and were called private lines, frame relay, ATM, and so on. The real problem is a short-sighted focus on costs (both by the telecom carriers and their customers) causing people to make decisions that decreased security. The Internet is a really cool thing since you can easily exchange information with anyone else connected, but for life/business/economically critical applications it's still not mature or reliable enough to rely on as your only channel.

Wed, Oct 6, 2010

The barn door is standing open, and the horse has long fled. Many of these other countries will feel obligated to thumb their noses at anything USGov proposes, just on general principles.At some point, to get raliable secure comms, US Gov and the major businesses will probably have to set up a seperate non-connected to public internet network, just to get anything done.

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