Internet Pioneer Vint Cerf Calls for Rapid Web Security Enhancements
NEWS ANALYSIS: Cerf said Web administrators need to quickly implement IP Version 6 and all Web users should broadly implement encryption to bolster data privacy.WASHINGTON—If there was a common thread to Vint Cerf's wide-ranging remarks at the National Press Club on May 4, it was that pretty much everyone involved in the Internet needs to get better at security. But Cerf, who is frequently called the "Father of the Internet" and who invented the TCP/IP network protocol, said the world needs to move faster to version 6 of that protocol. Furthermore, he said that governments in general and the U.S. government in particular have to change their thinking about the Internet. "I'm really proud of the Internet," Cerf said. "It intrigues me that it continues to evolve." But he noted that while he and his colleagues got a lot right when they created ARPANet, the predecessor of the Internet that was created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, he misjudged a few things. "One of the things we didn't get right was the number of addresses needed. We got it wrong and we ran out of addresses in 2011." Cerf said that it was critical for the Internet, including all ISPs, to fully support IPv6 as soon as possible. Currently, Cerf said, only 4 to 6 percent of Internet traffic uses IPv6. "Every appliance is shifting to programmatic control," he said. "The good news is everything is connected, and the bad news is everything is connected." He said that already even the most mundane devices such as light bulbs have IP addresses.
But it was security that drew most of Cerf's attention, starting with encryption. While he acknowledged that encryption doesn't solve everything, it should be one of the first things that Internet users make sure they're doing, he said.