Security and privacy on the internet have become so compromised that many experts believe it is time to start over, reports the New York Times. What a new internet might look like is still widely debated, but one alternative would, in effect, create a "gated community" where users would give up their anonymity and certain freedoms in return for safety. Today, that is already the case for many corporate and government internet users. As a new and more secure network becomes widely adopted, the current internet might end up as the bad neighborhood of cyberspace. You would enter at your own risk and keep an eye over your shoulder while you were there. "Unless we’re willing to rethink today’s internet," says Nick McKeown, a Stanford engineer involved in building a new internet infrastructure, "we’re just waiting for a series of public catastrophes." That was driven home late last year, when a malicious software program thought to have been unleashed by a criminal gang in Eastern Europe suddenly appeared after easily sidestepping the world’s best cyber defenses. Known as Conficker, it quickly infected more than 12 million computers, ravaging everything from the computer system at a surgical ward in England to the computer networks of the French military…

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