Despite the reference to the Lord of the Rings movie, I find that may well be a fitting phrase for this bit of news. The US Department of Defense is proposing a centralized system to "monitor usage" of the Internet. The plan was proposed in the name of the Homeland Defense project. It sounds like a good idea, but just how far might this be taken?
Currently, each Internet service provider acts independently, with its own "network operations center" that allows security specialists to constantly monitor network traffic. Such centers allow ISPs to spot outages, attacks and virus outbreaks quickly, but the information is currently only informally shared, with the various network operations centers contacting each other on an ad-hoc basis.More information @ MSNBC
The Bush administration sought to formalize such data sharing through the creation of a "Cyberspace Network Operations Center," which would serve as a central clearinghouse for such data.