Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

World's "wild" web sparks fears for the future

Filed under
Web

The web is turning into a hazardous environment, and there should be more tech-savvy politicians in government today so better legislation can be established, says an industry-renowned internet guru.

David Farber, distinguished career professor of computer science and public policy, school of computer science, Carnegie Mellon University, said: "The next 10 years will be as wild as the last 25."

Often described as the "grandfather of the internet", because his students went on to become pioneers of the digital medium, Farber spoke yesterday at a public lecture organised by the Singapore Management University's school of information systems.

He expressed concerns the web is developing into a platform that has the potential to do more harm than good.

The internet has evolved from "something that you can do nice things with" to something which people can use to do "not nice things", he said. "That's worrying."

Previously hackers generally wanted the right to boast of having discovered security loopholes but now they seek out vulnerabilities for personal gain, he added.

"It is not a nice environment," he said, noting that security must therefore remain a key focus for the industry.

Legislation will also remain a primary focus for governments, which are struggling to cope with the nature of the internet, Farber said. Things they could do before are getting tougher to do, he said. For example, in the United States there is no easy way to impose taxes for online transactions, when buyers can be located in different countries across the globe, he explained.

"Politicians don't like the internet... they don't like losing control," Farber said. He also lamented the current lack of tech-savvy politicians in office.

"[IT-related] laws are being made and broken by politicians who do not understand technology," he said, noting the US government as an example.

Participating in a panel discussion which followed Farber's lecture, Tan Geok Leng, CTO of technology group at the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), concurred with Farber's assessment that politicians worldwide are typically not fond of losing control.

But Tan noted that governments should also recognise that the internet is a strong vehicle for communications. "So the government has to ensure that the quality of information [on the web] is high so user trust can be maintained," he added.

Another panellist, Professor Lawrence Wong, executive director of Institute for Infocomm Research, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, noted another trend which he described as "the democratisation of the internet", where "anyone can now be a content creator".

"How do we then ensure the integrity of [each piece of] the content?" he said.

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Thursday
  • Security Tips for Installing Linux on Your SysAdmin Workstation
    Once you’ve chosen a Linux distro that meets all the security guidelines set out in our last article, you’ll need to install the distro on your workstation.
  • Fedora 26 crypto policy Test Day today (2017-03-30)!
  • Open-source developers targeted in sophisticated malware attack
    For the past few months, developers who publish their code on GitHub have been targeted in an attack campaign that uses a little-known but potent cyberespionage malware. The attacks started in January and consisted of malicious emails specifically crafted to attract the attention of developers, such as requests for help with development projects and offers of payment for custom programming jobs. The emails had .gz attachments that contained Word documents with malicious macro code attached. If allowed to execute, the macro code executed a PowerShell script that reached out to a remote server and downloaded a malware program known as Dimnie.
  • A scramble at Cisco exposes uncomfortable truths about U.S. cyber defense
    When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disclosed earlier this month that his anti-secrecy group had obtained CIA tools for hacking into technology products made by U.S. companies, security engineers at Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) swung into action. The Wikileaks documents described how the Central Intelligence Agency had learned more than a year ago how to exploit flaws in Cisco's widely used Internet switches, which direct electronic traffic, to enable eavesdropping. Senior Cisco managers immediately reassigned staff from other projects to figure out how the CIA hacking tricks worked, so they could help customers patch their systems and prevent criminal hackers or spies from using the same methods, three employees told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
  • NTPsec: a Secure, Hardened NTP Implementation
    Network time synchronization—aligning your computer's clock to the same Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) that everyone else is using—is both necessary and a hard problem. Many internet protocols rely on being able to exchange UTC timestamps accurate to small tolerances, but the clock crystal in your computer drifts (its frequency varies by temperature), so it needs occasional adjustments. That's where life gets complicated. Sure, you can get another computer to tell you what time it thinks it is, but if you don't know how long that packet took to get to you, the report isn't very useful. On top of that, its clock might be broken—or lying. To get anywhere, you need to exchange packets with several computers that allow you to compare your notion of UTC with theirs, estimate network delays, apply statistical cluster analysis to the resulting inputs to get a plausible approximation of real UTC, and then adjust your local clock to it. Generally speaking, you can get sustained accuracy to on the close order of 10 milliseconds this way, although asymmetrical routing delays can make it much worse if you're in a bad neighborhood of the internet.
  • Zelda Coatings
    I assume that every permutation of scams will eventually be tried; it is interesting that the initial ones preyed on people's avarice and dishonesty: "I will transfer millions to your bank account, then you share with me" - with subsequent scams appealing to another demographic: "I want to donate a large sum to your religious charity" - to perhaps capture a more virtuous but still credulous lot. Where will it end ?

Tizen and Android

Linux and Linux Foundation

Mesa and Intel Graphics