Entry Date:
January 28, 2010

Security and Privacy Policy Studies

Principal Investigator David Clark

Co-investigators Chintan Vaishnav , John Wroclawski , Karen Sollins

It is easy to think of security as a technical problem. But it is important to remember that the roots of some of our hardest problems are not technical. We trade off security for usability and advanced features, and we get viruses carried in email. We try to protect the privacy of users, and we prevent efficient identification and regulation of those who misbehave. These are not technical faults but social choices we have made. The purpose of this working group is to consider issues of security and privacy in the larger context of social, economic and regulatory considerations. Four planned case studies include identity management systems, the consequences of placing security in different layers of the Internet, trust-regulated transparency on the Internet, and usability and security.

Early work by group members centered on the design of multi-level secure operating systems (Multics). in 1987, we proposed a new model for information integrity, called the Clark-Wilson Model. In 1990, Clark chaired a study committee of the Computer Science and Telecommuncations Board of the National Academies, which released a report titled Computers at Risk. Our more recent work involves the Privacy and Security working group of the Communications Futures Program (CFP). FIND (Future Internet Design) is a major initiative of the NSF NeTS research program. The philosophy of the program is to help conceive the future by momentarily letting go of the present - freeing our collective minds from the constraints of the current state of networking.

The Internet is shaped as much by the larger context in which it sits as by technology along. Economic, cultural and regulatory issues will define the future of the network. Work includes early analysis of architectural alternatives for VoIP, the economic and regulatory issues that surround residentlal broadband deployment, and study of interconnection issues in the Internet

Recent work includes work on spectrum policy, incentive problems for residential broadband providers, interconnection issues in the Internet, and cost models for network usage.