Non-profit org aims to solve Internet’s security issues

Just thirty years from its initial appearance on the world’s computing stage, the Internet is now so embedded in business and society that life without it is almost unthinkable. Yet there are key aspects of life on the Internet – security, privacy, reliability – that constantly threaten to overwhelm its benefits.

That ongoing threat is the driving force behind a new cross-industry, non-profit being launched at this year’s RSA Conference, called the Trustworthy Internet Movement.

The Trustworthy Internet Movement (TIM) is a vendor-neutral organization with a mission to resolve major lingering security issues on the Internet, such as SSL governance and the spread of botnets and malware and to ensure that security is built into the very fabric of private and public clouds.

Founding principal and veteran of the information security industry Philippe Courtot, Chairman and CEO of Qualys, has personally pledged $500,000 in seed money to get the initiative off the ground.

“With two billion people relying on the Internet for much of their personal and business lives, it is incumbent upon the industry to put its collective heads together and resolve the problems of online security, privacy, and reliability once and for all,” says Courtot. “This is no longer just an issue of technology but of society as a whole.”

Drawing on individual talent in large corporations, cloud providers, and industry groups as well as tapping into the resources of technology leaders and the venture capital community, TIM will fund and foster collaborative innovation through working groups between these stakeholders. Together, members will identify the hard issues to be solved and create solutions to address them.

Three core pillars will guide the work and focus of TIM:

  • Innovation – TIM will focus on fostering innovation to solve the hard problems of the Internet via funding new solutions and the provision of appropriate technical assistance and resources to address them.
  • Collaboration – TIM will provide collaborative frameworks for discussing these problems and working towards solutions through expert and stakeholder working groups. Working group results will be published on a regular basis.
  • Individual expertise – TIM will leverage specialized knowledge and expertise from the brightest and best in the industry to guide and support working group developments.

The group will be actively recruiting for membership in TIM during the 2012 US RSA Conference; participation is invited on the following bases:

  • Experts with domain expertise who want to devote time and energy to solve one or more of the problems they are most passionate about.
  • Innovators and technology leaders who want to innovate and build new security solutions that solve real problems for real people.
  • Stakeholders, including individuals and corporations that want to focus on the resolution of a particular Internet security, privacy, or reliability concern.
  • Corporations, venture capitalists, and angel investors that are in a position to fund TIM to solve a specific problem.
  • Academic institutions and non-profit organizations that are looking for funding for a specific initiative TIM is interested in and can help resolve.

Courtot encourages anyone and everyone with a stake in the future of the Internet to visit and sign up to participate.

“We have a unique opportunity with the rapid spread of cloud-based services to leverage the power of the industry and the wider community of Internet users to resolve the issues that are holding back the Internet from fulfilling its true potential,” he says.

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