12 January 2013

Your Gadgets Are Slowly Breaking the Internet

Technology Review (01/09/13) David Talbot 

Ever-mounting numbers of wireless devices are straining Internet capacity, and a number of U.S. labs aim to address this problem, with the overarching challenge being a Web overhaul to accommodate an anticipated 15 billion network-linked devices by 2015. Among the concepts under development is reworking networks to acquire data from the nearest location rather than from a data center at a fixed address. The University of California, Los Angeles' Named Data Networking (NDN) project would assign addresses to data packets that stress the information they contain in addition to the IP addresses of their point of origin and their destination. Such codes could effect easy exchange of data directly between devices, and this approach could allow cryptographic attachment of security and privacy settings directly to the data, instead of depending on antivirus programs, firewalls, and similar measures. Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer scientist David Clark says the NDN project "really changes the underlying model of what a network does. It replaces communication among end points with access to data, wherever it may be." New Internet architectures also could enable devices to attach to multiple networks simultaneously.