I have long criticized US academic institutions for lack of security. See my upcoming post: "Re-reading the Bill of Rights".
A great overview appears in US Today here of Internet 2 and what it is all about. As someone who was running an ISP in Michigan and an alumnus of the University of Michigan I had pretty good insight into the founding of Internet 2.
Internet2 is in the news today because the friendly people at the RIAA are claiming that students are using the high speed backbone of Internet2 to trade music files.
From my perspective Internet2 was created so that academics could have a great browsing experience at a time when most Universities had only a T1 to the Internet. All the talk about Tele-Medicine, real time remote classrooms etc was BS. Quest donated most of bandwidth for Internet2 claiming a cost of $500 million if my memory serves me.
I have seen demonstrations of a netflow monitor on the Internet2 backbone that showed that over 80% of traffic flow is peer to peer file sharing. The RIAA is on to something.