Securing the Internet: Toward a secure future
Patrolling the edges, rethinking the core, Princeton researchers envision a more secure Internet
Felten, Lee, Peterson, and Rexford are by no means the only researchers at Princeton Jennifer Rexford wrestling with security and information technology. Paul Prucnal and members of his lab are building stealth communications networks with optics. Niraj Jha recently received a major National Science Foundation grant for building architectures for secure embedded systems. Hisashi Kobayashi and Mung Chiang have concentrated their powerful analytical skills on various aspects of communications security. Robert Tarjan is conceptalizing trustworthy systems with well-understood security and privacy properties. Andrew Appel is casting a vigilant eye on electronic voting security. David Walker is pursuing secure software applications. Boaz Barak is working in fundamental cryptography. And H. Vincent Poor is exploring the potential of the physical medium itself or providing security in wireless communications, the use of which continues to increase dramatically as wireless brings new communications capability to the world..
It is precisely the unfettered proliferation of inspired yet divergent research agendas—epitomized by the work currently under way at Princeton—that offers the promise of security to our ever-increasingly networked world.
In certain respects, all of these researchers are intellectual heirs of Robert Kahn, one of the cofounders of the Internet and a Princeton alumus (Kahn earned his graduate degree in electrical engineering from Princeton in 1964). Like Kahn, they are boldly challenging the status quo, imagining new possibilities. At a recent event at Princeton, Kahn posed the following provocative question: Just how will the research community—where many of the really innovative ideas have originated—influence the future of the Internet, now that it is so deeply insinuated into our society? “That,” he observed, “is one of the more interesting problems of our time.”