The lack of trust amongst consumers and concerns about disclosing personal information are commonly seen as a major impediment to the growth of e-commerce. This is a consequence of several concerns, e.g. the lack of confidence in contemporary technologies for ensuring security, such as encryption and digital signatures, and distrust regarding the intentions of counterparts. This article describes the different aspects of security and privacy in the contemporary Internet and seeks means for improving both security and privacy. After identifying the fundamental components of Internet security and privacy, a novel software architecture aimed at enhancing these properties is presented. In order to evaluate the architecture, a two-dimensional model for expressing the extent of control in a network is introduced, and the security and privacy exhibited by the architecture is weighed against those in the conventional Internet. The consequences of increasing control in the Internet are also discussed. We conclude that although a new architecture encompassing greater control could be useful in certain areas of the Internet, a traditional uncontrolled area is essential to maintain unconstrained growth and the flexibility that has brought the Internet to where it is today.