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The Grill: David D. Clark

By Computerworld

March 28, 2012

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist David D. Clark's research focuses on redefining the Internet's architectural foundation. In an interview, Clark says the Internet's biggest benefit is its intermediation of people getting to information and to each other.

Clark says one of the main issues the Internet faces today is how to police and control the bad parts of the Internet without impairing the good parts. This problem has a technical engineering component and a social component, according to Clark. Although the Internet does need to make some changes, it is not necessary to have a single person be in charge, but everyone needs to understand that these are pressing questions, Clark says.

The Internet changes very fast in terms of applications, but the underlying technology has gone largely unchanged for 10 years. Clarks says most of the current Internet investment comes from the private sector, so most of the innovation has been motivated by commercial interests. "On the Internet, there are issues of fraud and privacy and there will be government interventions, but by and large, I like to say the benefit in most cases is determined by experimentation [and asking]: Did we meet a need?" he says.

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