23 Frankfurt 2011, FRANKFURT – The Internet Society warned today that taking the Internet for granted would be one of the surest ways to ruin it.
At its INET conference in Frankfurt on the threats, challenges and opportunities facing the Internet, the Internet Society cautioned users that they would take it for granted at their peril.
“The future success of the Internet is heavily dependent on its openness, access and transparency,” said Frederic Donck, director of the Internet Society’s European Regional Bureau. “Remove any of these core attributes, and the Internet will be become virtually useless as a platform for communication and innovation.”
The Internet Society called on all users to take urgent steps to ensure that the future development of the Internet takes a course that is in the best interests of everyone.
“We cannot afford not to engage now as big decisions are being made on the future of the Internet that will have a direct impact on our business and social lives. Complacency over such vital issues as net neutrality, security, privacy and data protection is simply not an option,” Mr Donck said.
To this end, the Internet Society is launching the first global 24-hour “test flight” of the next generation Internet Protocol, to take off on June 8, to enable the industry to test IPv6 readiness as the pool of existing IPv4 addresses dries up. Already, leading Internet industry names Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Bing and Cisco, among others, have committed to join the trial.
At today’s conference, to Illustrate the potential for a future Internet very different than the one used today, the Internet Society will screen videos of four scenarios that highlight contrasting paths along which it could develop.
Of the four scenarios, the Internet Society advocates The Common Pool, in which the Internet continues to be built on open technologies and processes, fostering permission-less innovation, economic growth, and social development.
Mr Donck acknowledged the concerns of many citizens in Germany and elsewhere about privacy and data protection, but he emphasised the importance of safeguarding the unique qualities of the Internet in the face of any public pressure for tougher measures.
“Knee-jerk reactions over privacy and data protection – or any other Internet-related issue, for that matter – would simply be counter-productive, putting at risk the very qualities that make the Internet an indispensable successful social and business tool worldwide,” he said.
A speaker at today’s conference, Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor, said: “The need for effective data protection is now greater than ever before, in a world where concerns about privacy are increasing, as citizens discover how new technologies are impacting on their lives.”
A panel debate on network confidence and privacy will feature Cornelia Kutterer, Microsoft’s senior regulatory policy manager for EMEA and Ramses Martinez, Verisign’s information security director.
Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, also a speaker at the INET, said: “The key challenges for the Internet today are no longer technical, but political. The technology is causing a power shift as large as the printing press did, and a lot of powerful people would rather cripple
the net than let their power shift to the masses.
James M. Galvin, Director of Strategic Relationships and Technical Standards at Afilias, sponsor of the INET, said: “Along with common goals of openness, access and transparency, the future of the Internet depends on the ongoing adoption of common technical standards like IPv6 and DNSSEC. Afilias is proud to have helped lead the way in implementing these standards, and looks forward to sharing our technical knowledge as part of the Internet Society.”