Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Internet winds through Wisconsin...somewhere.

The internet has finally been mapped out, and as you can see in all its blurry detail, it winds through Wisconsin. The story here is a little confusing; researchers at the UW claim mapping out the location of the internet will improve security, and promote a more robust infrastructure. Okay, I'll suspend common sense for awhile. You can click on the image to enlarge, but you won't see much....(PNG captured from the actual research paper):

It may not look like much at first glance, but a map created by University of Wisconsin computer science professor Paul Barford and about a dozen colleagues took around four years to produce. He believes it could make the Internet more resilient to accidents, disasters, or intentional attacks.

The map shows the paths taken by the long-distance fiber-optic cables that carry Internet data across the continental U.S. The exact routes of those cables, which belong to major telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Level 3, have not been previously publicly viewable, despite the fact that they are effectively critical public infrastructure, says Barford.

The Department of Homeland Security is making the map and data behind it available through a project called Predict, which offers data relevant to Internet security to government, private, and public researchers. “Our intention is to help improve security by improving knowledge,” says Barford. “I think the map highlights that there are probably many opportunities to make the network more robust.”

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