Well...maybe not technically "new." But 'new' to most people.
May I present for your edification (courtesy of TorrentFreak
Tribler Makes BitTorrent Impossible to Shut Down
Ernesto February 8, 2012
While the file-sharing ecosystem is currently filled with uncertainty and doubt, researchers at Delft University of Technology continue to work on their decentralized BitTorrent network. Their Tribler client doesn’t require torrent sites to find or download content, as it is based on pure peer-to-peer communication. “The only way to take it down is to take the Internet down,” the lead researcher says.
Of course there's nothing to stop governments from shutting down the Internet and replacing it with something like the old AOL except on steroids. It would be inefficient. And not very cost effective. But it would give them a large amount of control back. All the major (i.e. ACTA signatories) could link up using it; and maybe provide a tightly controlled and monitored gateway out to the old Internet in order to keep up appearances. Which could work since the government is really only interested in protecting its own economic and social interests online. Once Google, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, commerce sites, and banking moves over to the NeoNet most of the general public will too. Especially if it becomes the only thing they're legally allowed to get access to.
That would be what I call the Escape from New York
(after the movie) scenario.
In that movie, the government gave up on dealing with crime or terror. They just established a reservation for all the troublemakers, blew up the access roads into it, then tossed the inmates in it to do whatever they wanted and survive as best they could.
In the movie, they sacrificed Manhattan island to be the super-prison.
In the digital age they might do that with the Internet. Which in turn would lose a lot of its power without huge corporate and government financed backbones to run on. Not that it would be more than a big administrative headache for the network admins. The routers and other hardware are already virtualized up to the hilt. They'd just need to be reprogrammed. And maybe reflashed to handle a new protocol or two. All very doable.
Hmm...maybe there might eventually come a time when the 'powers that be' could decide the only way to fix the Internet is to replace it?