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On Feb 5, 2004, at 9:21 AM, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> , but the fault lies in the design of the Internet
> itself; specifically, TCP/IP. It's another case of 80/20 coming
> back to bite us.
> The web was fielded witlessly.
The Web (or rather the TCP/IP Internet, you appear to mean from the
context) wasn't "fielded witlessly" it was designed to solve a problem
that had we ever faced, the Russian malware authors would be as
radioactively dead as the American male potency enhancement spammers.
The commercial world jumped on it because TCP/IP works as well for very
real infrastructure link failures as it does in hypothetical nuclear
attacks . As always, Father Darwin had the last word, and the
monoculture that this success created serves as a fertile ground for
all sorts of parasites that exploit the lack of
accountability/tracability/confirmation that are inconsistent with
TCP/IP's core mission of simply and efficiently routing around points
It may be time to change priorities and either handle routing and
reliable messaging farther down in the infrastructure or add new layers
in the middle of the stack so that there can be better authentication
and accountability at the levels we care about. Whatever is done, it's
likely that a new type of parasite will evolve to exploit it -- maybe
we'll trade the hassles the spammers create for the hassles the
bureaucrats create, and in 20 years curse the "witless" people who
created the situation. Such is life (and I think the invevitability
of parasitism is well-known in Artificial Life as well).