Do We Need a New Internet?


About 20 years ago a 23 year old student from Cornell University developed a software programme that spread throughout the Internet in hours and clogged the whole network. Since then things have become worse.

Internet experts say that the whole net has become so unsafe that it would be best to start all over again. Nobody knows what a new Internet would look like but users would have to  give up their anonymity for a bit more safety. Today's Internet might end up as a bad neighbourhood you just wouldn't pass through.

Last year a software programme that probably came from a criminal gang in Eastern Europe  made its way through most of Europe's  computer systems, damaging a hospital's network in England as well as the computers in France's  Ministry of Defense.

Conficker, as the programme is called, remains a ticking time bomb.  It still is powerful enough to control vast sections of the Internet by sending programmes that make computers think they have an antivirus protection but actually don't.

When the Internet was invented a few decades ago, nobody really cared about security. The main aim was to connect computer networks over great distances. Even though major software firms , including Microsoft have been putting billions into making computers and the Internet safer, security has actually become worse. 


That's why researchers at Stanford University are working on a whole new Internet, with the focus on security. They are trying to invent a new set of small programmes that we don't have today and which will make security better. It will also give the police a chance to track cyber criminals in a more effective way. It will also identify each user, so that criminals and cyber hackers cannot hide somewhere in the world. 


World's Internet Users by Country

The World's Internet Users by Country




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  • aim = something you hope to do
  • anonymity =not knowing a person's name or where he lives
  • clog = to block or jam something
  • damage = destroy
  • decade = a period of ten years
  • effective = better, more successful
  • invent = here: to start for the first time
  • major = big
  • Ministry of  Defense = The part of the government  that controls the army, air force and navy
  • pass = go
  • protection =to keep safe
  • remain = stay
  • researcher = a person who studies a topic and wants to find out something about it
  • security = safety
  • throughout = in all of
  • track = follow
  • vast = big