Unfortunately, much of the infrastructure on which the Internet is built today will buckle as the number of users grows, as the community changes from technical users to non-technical users, and as commercial organizations find new ways to exploit the net.
As part of my research, I have been working to design and develop scalable information, security, and computing infrastructure for the Internet, and to put in place mechanisms that will allow commercial use of the Internet to co-exist with the free and open use that we have today:
I am a principal designer of the Kerberos, an encryption based authentication system for large networks. I am currently using Kerberos as a base for a more comprehensive computer security infrastructure providing services such as authorization and accounting.
I have designed and am working on systems for network payment which build upon this security infrastructure to provide a secure means to pay for services provided over the Internet. The NetCheque and NetCash systems, which we are developing at ISI, are suitable for ``micropayments'' (payments on the order of pennies where the cost of clearing a credit card payment would be prohibitive). NetCheque provides accounting for the flow of funds through the system whereas NetCash supports anonymous transactions.
I am the principal designer of the Prospero system which supports organization of and access to information distributed on the Internet. The Prospero system applies the ``Virtual System Model'' to allow users to construct their own view of the information available on the network. Prospero is an embedded system that is used by several commercial products and services for access to information on the Internet.
The Prospero Resource Manager (PRM) supports the management of computing resources in distributed systems. PRM provides multiple views of the available resources by supporting multiple resource managers, each controlling a subset of the resources in the system, independent of other managers of the same type. The functions of resource management are distributed across three types of managers: system managers, job managers, and node managers. The complexity of these management roles is reduced because each is designed to utilize information at an appropriate level of abstraction.
In support of commercial use of the network, to protect the privacy of users, and to protect users from unscrupulous service providers we are starting work to develop mechanisms to support automatic tracking and payment of royalties for copyrighted materials, ensure proper caching of data that is subject to access controls or for which royalties must be paid on access, protect the privacy of users by limiting retention and release of transaction details, and certify the credentials of Internet service providers.