Home > Cyber Intelligence & Terrorism Research > U.S. Officials Want to Build New, Safer Internet Infrastructure Using “.secure” Domains

U.S. Officials Want to Build New, Safer Internet Infrastructure Using “.secure” Domains

Former CIA Director: Build a new Internet to improve cybersecurity (NextGov):

The United States may seriously want to consider creating a new Internet infrastructure to reduce the threat of cyberattacks, said Michael Hayden, President George W. Bush’s CIA director.

Several current federal officials, including U.S. Cyber Command chief Gen. Keith Alexander, also have floated the concept of a “.secure” network for critical services such as banking that would be walled off from the public Web. Unlike .com, .xxx and other new domains now proliferating the Internet, .secure would require visitors to use certified credentials for entry and would do away with users’ Fourth Amendment rights to privacy. Network operators in the financial sector, for example, would be authorized to scan account holders’ traffic content for signs of trouble. The current Internet setup would remain intact for people who prefer to stay anonymous on the Web.

“I think what Keith is trying to suggest is that we need a more hardened enterprise structure for some activities and we need to go build it,” Hayden said during a roundtable on cybersecurity hosted by the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. “All those people who want to violate their privacy on Facebook — let them continue to play.”

Nations with fewer civil liberty protections, including China, use “deep packet inspection” to search all Internet traffic for viruses — as well as anti-government content, noted James Mulvenon, a China and cybersecurity specialist. Due to privacy laws, the United States cannot monitor private network traffic using this approach. Mulvenon questioned whether such restrictions give other nation states the upper hand in cyber defense. “We still believe that anonymity is possible,” he said of America’s attitude toward freedom of expression on the Internet.

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