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'Countries building own internet network to be disastrous'

October 05, 2012 11:21 IST

Countries trying to build and operate their own internet system is 'a road to disaster' a top Pentagon official said given that two nations Iran and China are making such an effort.

"Any country that builds and operates its own internet devices and infrastructure, I think, is on a road to disaster," General Keith Alexander, Commander of United States Cyber

Command, told a meeting of US Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, explaining that such countries would lag far behind the rest of the world.

"The great thing about the internet that has been developed is the interconnectivity, the ability to take in some of the devices that we have.  The government sees this as incredible opportunity -- commercial, off-the-shelf technology that we can use; working with them, how we make mobile-secure solutions," he said.

"So if you don't have a network that can meet those things, what you have is a network that will quickly lag behind the rest of the world because you're not able to integrate all the pieces in it," he said, emphasising that an open infrastructure here is absolutely vital to the future.

"It would be like the government trying to build its own with its own system and technology. What would quickly happen is we couldn't afford the chips for our small sector," he said.

"Neither could some of those countries. As a consequence, we would fall behind everybody else and pretty soon they would be using rotary phones and we'd have iPhones, and their people are going to say, hold it; I'd rather have that," Alexander argued.

"So I think it would break down in that manner.  So I'm just on the opposite side," he said responding to a question that two countries Iran and China are building their own internet system.
Lalit K Jha in Washington
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