David D. Clark, a senior researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, has played a key role in the development of the Internet’s architecture since the 1970s. While in Paris on May 18 Clark talked to Informilo about the challenges ahead, including the inevitability of usage caps in the age of video, how to best address security concerns and what the Net will look like 15 years from now. Click “read more” to see the video.
Clark, who from 1981-1989 acted as Chief Protocol Architect in the Internet’s development, and chaired the Internet Activities Board, has worked on extensions to the Internet to support real-time traffic, pricing and related economic issues, and policy issues surrounding local loop employment. More recently his focus has been on the architecture of the Internet in the post-PC era. He is chairman of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council. While in Paris he gave a talk at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development entitled “Who Pays Whom? The Cost of Using the Internet.” In the talk he argued that the rise in use of video means that it will not be possible to sustain the “all-you-can-eat” model of the Internet. Like them or not, usage caps will be necessary, he argues. However, the real cost per gigabit to service providers is relatively small so there is no justication for steep hikes in monthly service bills, Clark says.
During the interview with Informilo Clark additionally talks about the Internet’s poor security and predicted that in future people will want to have some sort of proof of identity before linking with others. There is a danger, though, if governments oblige people to use a single I.D. because it will be too easy to cross correlate and track all of a user’s activities, says Clark, who predicts that the Internet of the future will be both more secure and more user-friendly.