Ever Wish the Internet Didn't Exist?

Robert Samuelson of The Washington Post argues that we would be better off without the Internet.

"Would the loss of e-mail, Facebook or Wikipedia inflict fundamental change? Now imagine life without some earlier breakthroughs: electricity, cars, antibiotics. Life would be radically different. The Internet’s virtues are overstated, its vices understated. It’s a mixed blessing — and the mix may be moving against us."

We cannot agree, but say that Samuelson is right that it is high time to remove critical systems from Internet SCADA controls.

"What’s unclear is how “infrastructure” systems (electricity grids and the like) have been penetrated and, on command, might be compromised. In the mid-1980s, most of these systems were self-contained. They relied on dedicated phone lines and private communications networks. They were hard to infiltrate. Since then, many systems switched to the Internet. “It’s cheaper,” says James Andrew Lewis, an Internet expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The architects of these conversions apparently underestimated the risk of sabotage."

It would be interesting to calculate the cost of lost proprietary data, stolen money, and sabotage against the money saved by operating all our business systems off the Internet.

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