Yesterday, we wrote about an MIT Tech Review piece talking about how the internet was broken, and needed an architectural overhaul for better security. That was the first in a three part series. The second part came out tonight, and goes into more detail about the supposedly weakening structural integrity of today's internet. The problem is presented as something of a house of cards. Over the past few decades, as the internet has grown and changed and new security problems have been exposed, we've just patched them over. But not everyone patches the same way, and not all the patches work together nicely. So the system has grown increasingly complex in ways that should only get worse. The other interesting idea put forth in the article is that security is a "tax" on all computing. The tax is made up of the price of software, where extra time and money needs to go into developing it security, to the time and distractions of having to repair software, even to the processing power wasted on the all those security apps you have to run these days. The fear is that, based on the house of cards approach, this tax keeps getting bigger and bigger. So far, it's been manageable, but does it always stay that way? Definitely some interesting things to think about -- but the two articles still haven't touched on the unintended consequences of trying to completely re-architect the internet in a more secure manner, so hopefully part III will at least acknowledge this issue.
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