Is The Internet No Longer Good Enough?

from the some-cracks-around-the-edges dept

An interesting opinion piece from Eric Norlin of Ping Identity, an identity management company, pointing out some of the cracks around the edges of the internet – some of which you may have noticed lately: “identity fraud, viruses, worms, phishing, snarfing, child porn–oh, and endless piles of spam.” He points out this is to be expected, if you buy into complexity theory. Our “good enough” philosophy on the internet is great for innovating, but runs into problems in the long run. Not that he thinks the “good enough” concept should go away – but that we need to recognize its limitations. Something that’s good enough is great because it gets out there quickly and gets real world testing. The limitation, though, is that at some point, it’s possible that people will discover that zone beyond “good enough” which is where things start to fall apart. Thus, if you understand that when it’s happening, you just need to come up with the next good enough way of solving the problems that weren’t expected when the original good enough solution was put in place. For the internet, according to Norlin, the original good enough solution was its anonymity – which worked fine when you needed to be granted the right to access it. Now, with internet access much more ubiquitous, he believes that anonymity is leading to the system breaking down. For Norlin (not surprisingly, given where his paycheck comes from) the next good enough solution to help solve the internet’s problems is distributed identity management. Of course, when the conversation turns to identity systems online, it often makes people quite nervous – as there are benefits to anonymity as well. That’s not to say identity management isn’t important, but being aware that it, too, has downsides will be important as well.

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Comments on “Is The Internet No Longer Good Enough?”

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rax (user link) says:

The virtual private shopping mall

At this point, either the network falls over the edge (i.e., the dinosaurs) or recovers and evolves into something different (i.e. recovering from a recession).

Those two occurrences are about as far apart as you can be. Many times writers have made their end of the world predictions about the Internet, but we have yet to see it.

Yes, I do think the Internet will evolve into something else, but it won’t come with some great paradigm shift all at once. Evolution takes time, even in Internet years. If the net’s short history has taught us anything, it’s that a) the Internet becomes many things to many people and b) the Internet takes the form that is most useful to those who utilize it.

At any rate, barring some great structural change in networking aspect of the Internet, the future of how it is used will be dictated by the applications and services which use it as a conduit. Those applications in turn will be shaped by customer?s tastes, preferences, and the perceived value they associate with them. The author is suggesting that this may be the catalyst for change. And who knows, this could be the answer? virtual private shopping networks, encrypted content provider streams, etc.

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