Communications of the Association for Information Systems


This paper examines the conflict between anonymity and security in the context of new innovations that leverage the Internet. Anonymity affords an opportunity for the marginalized to express opinions without fear of persecution or discrimination; however, anonymity also facilitates crime and fraud. Its antithesis, traceability, is meant to deter malicious behavior, but can also be used by governments to control and persecute their populations. The debate between anonymity and security on the Internet is intricately intertwined with threats to domestic and international security. As we launch into the implementation of the Smart Grid, arguably the largest engineering project of modern times, it is time to reexamine the fundamental premises on which the Internet was constructed. A single Internet may no longer be able to handle the conflicting demands of different applications. A new Internet with rules that balance security and anonymity may be appropriate for Smart Grid and other similar critical infrastructure projects. I present the rationale of rethinking the design of the Internet that simplifies its architecture, reduces its complexity, and removes vulnerabilities that have been exploited persistently. I also discuss some of the current trends, especially those related to standards and guidelines on Smart Grid privacy and security.





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