Is DARPA working on an “Alternative Internet” Project?
Election meddling, attack on Nuclear Power Plants, Power grids, stolen identities can be found as breaking news every day. The common denominator of all of these is that are all connected by the Internet.
Many encryption systems are being used and developed to keep these data safe. But since the medium that they are transferred is accessible to everyone the threat is always there. Do not forget ENIGMA. There are hundreds of thousands of miles of dark Fiber in USA and possibility of using the existing fiber network at a different frequency band, thus an independent medium to transfer the sensitive data without public’s access. Dark fiber refers to unused fiber-optic cable. Usually, companies lay more lines than what they need since labor costs are much more than the value of the cable thus lowering the costs of having to do it again and again. The dark cable is currently being leased to other companies who want to establish connections among their different locations.
Developments in the Cellular GSM technology, polar coding, data management, and the new high-speed systems made it possible for the developers to create a brand new “Internet.” Although it is commercially not feasible to have two similar mediums, it makes sense when you consider national Security and the effects that any attack on these systems could create. As it is publicly announced that Russia had already built such a system to be used in “the worst-case scenario.”
As all DARPA projects, we will not know if such plan exists until it is unclassified. However the need is there, the means and the resources are there. It seems that the biggest problem for the DARPA engineers will be the human factor again. Since the end users will be humans, there is always a possibility of mishandling, error or espionage. This brings us to Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is very well known that DARPA has many AI-related projects, who knows, AI one day will be the user and manager of the other AI, Alternate Internet.