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04/02/2011

LACNIC welcomes an illustrious visitor: Steve Crocker and the antinomy of ‘Privacy vs. Security’

Steve Crocker in Montevideo: Privacy vs. Security

Steve Crocker in Montevideo: Privacy vs. Security

Invited by LACNIC, Steve Crocker, one of the creators of the Internet, visited Uruguay for the first time and spoke about the main security challenges that the Internet is currently facing.

Mr Crocker, current Vice-Chair of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Chair of the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), shared his knowledge and experience with local technicians and experts during a conference held at LACNIC’s offices in Montevideo.

At the start of his presentation, this Internet pioneer showed the first drawing of the Arpanet design, an incipient file transfer and communication network set up in 1969 between different physical locations of United States universities which later evolved into the Internet.

Mr Crocker considered that from those early days to its current reality the Internet has proven to be a great success. He noted that billions of people are now using the network, but recalled that more than half of the world’s population does not yet have access. For Mr Crocker, the challenge is that every person will have access to the Internet and to increase its speed.

Internet security was one of the topics covered by Mr Crocker during his conference. In this sense, he highlighted that the level of freedom achieved by users makes it unlikely that Internet applications will be less open. He said that it would be very difficult to turn back.

“People have different expectations,” Mr Crocker emphasized. “For some everything must be private, while for others everything must be visible. I believe we must improve privacy and protection; on the other hand, we must also understand what kind of privacy is possible in a world where information is flowing so rapidly.”

Mr Crocker also stated that the Internet is a means of communication where all innovations are on the users’ side. He added that it is a completely open and neutral system and highlighted the importance of preserving those key principles. In the opinion of this Internet pioneer, the combination of technology, policies and legislation will allow reaching an equilibrium.