MIT Professor David Clark on ‘The Internet Today and Tomorrow’

The Information Economy Project presents an important lecture in its “Big Ideas About Information” series:

The Internet Today and Tomorrow:

Social Implications of Evolving Technology

A Lecture by DAVID CLARK
Senior Research Scientist
MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 4 p.m.
George Mason University School of Law, 3301 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Va.
Room 121

The Internet is now sufficiently embedded in society that it is regularly triggering social, economicDavid Clark Lecture and regulatory issues. The hot topics of today are network neutrality, network management, and the question of imposing regulatory limits on Internet service providers. However, those are just today’s hot topics. What will happen tomorrow? Can we speculate and perhaps get a bit ahead of the curve?

In this talk, Professor Clark will start with a perspective on today’s issue of network neutrality and the role of the ISP, and will then look further into the future to look at some emerging issues, such as the role of the social network as a platform, the problems of building a more secure and available Internet, the emerging requirement for identity mechanisms, and the industrial implications of network virtualization and overlays. This talk will describe some new ideas from the technical community that might shift the landscape of regulation and industrial structure.


David Clark is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he has worked since receiving his Ph.D. there in 1973. Since the mid 70s, Dr. Clark has been leading the development of the Internet; from 1981-1989 he acted as Chief Protocol Architect in this development, and chaired the Internet Activities Board. His current research looks at re-definition of the architectural underpinnings of the Internet, and the relation of technology and architecture to economic, societal and policy considerations. He is helping the U.S. National Science foundation organize their Future Internet Design program. Dr. Clark is past chairman of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies, and has contributed to a number of studies on the societal and policy impact of computer communications. He is co-director of the MIT Communications Futures Program, a project for industry collaboration and coordination along the communications value chain.