Some long-time champions of the Internet still see plenty of opportunities for the Internet and its users to grow and adapt.
In honor of the NSFNET’s 35th anniversary, Internet2 and the Internet Society recently hosted a virtual event featuring remarks and discussion from several people who played key roles in the Internet’s past and present.
Among the participants was Vint Cerf, who was part of the Internet Hall of Fame’s 2012 inaugural class for his role as the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols. Since 2005, he has been a vice president and “Chief Internet Evangelist” for Google, promoting the Internet’s capabilities.
Cerf used the opportunity to encourage future generations to put those capabilities to the test by trying new things.
“If you’re young, take the risky road,” he said. “You’re young enough to recover from it. You don’t have to go out to change the world. Just go out and do something. You’ll be surprised what...
Dr. Kimberly Claffy has not exactly been taking it easy since she was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in September 2019. She continues to direct the Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), which she founded. She also serves as resident research scientist of the Supercomputer Center at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and is an Adjunct Professor in UCSD’s Computer Science and Engineering Department. She’s also been working on an intriguing new project.
The research group she leads at UCSD has been exploring the feasibility and long-term sustainability of an “Open Knowledge Network” of public data on Internet infrastructure. The goal is to develop a transparent, common, standardized database of Internet infrastructure whose data can be independently verified. The project would entail, among many other facets, reaching out to academics, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders worldwide. It would study and taxonomize the Internet’s naming, addressing and routing systems to address what she calls “the empirical gap in science, security and public communications policy.”
In a December 2019 workshop hosted by CAIDA, she and fellow Internet Hall of Fame inductee Dr. David Clark led an exploration of the...
Dr. Kimberly Claffy, a 2019 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, couldn’t attend the induction ceremony itself due to an unusual circumstance: She’d recently broken some bones mountain biking. Today, that youthful spirit and fearlessness continue to guide her work.
Seeing the big picture in a field that involves collecting and analyzing minute data points from around the world, Dr. Claffy is enthusiastic about classifying all aspects of the Internet’s infrastructure -- “what’s underneath the sites and apps we use every day,” as she described it recently.
“The field of Internet measurement and analysis is a hard place to do science,” she said. “Can the Internet operate both freely and securely? The ultimate goal involves so many trade-offs.”
She notes that when the original version of the Internet, which was a government project for the first 25 years or so of its life, was turned over to the private sector, “it was exciting, but we didn’t have a security system in place for it. It wasn’t considered critical infrastructure, the way telephones, mail, TV, radio, and newspapers once were. Now, the Internet has more or less replaced all of those things.”
Her work directing the Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), which she founded, has involved gathering empirical data on the layers – routing, addressing, and the...
Back where it all began, Leonard Kleinrock unwrapped a gift on the Internet’s 51st birthday.
Part of the Internet Hall of Fame’s 2012 inaugural class, Kleinrock was one of the developers of ARPANET, the forerunner of the modern Internet. His laboratory at the University of California-Los Angeles hosted the first ARPANET node computer and in October 1969 directed the network’s first transmission.
“The UCLA Connection Lab is a new research center devoted to shaping the future of the Internet. It is an environment of collaborative, interdisciplinary, open research with an underlying theme, and that theme is connectivity,” Kleinrock said in an interview with the Samueli School of Engineering.
To Jean Armour Polly, the commercial landscape of the Internet has somewhat come full circle.
A 2019 Internet Hall of Fame inductee, Polly was among the first librarians in the country to facilitate patrons’ Internet access after she convinced the Liverpool, New York, public library to buy an Apple desktop for public use.
In a recent video interview, Polly pointed out that many of the pressing issues facing contemporary Internet users were also concerns raised in the early days of commercial Internet access.
“A lot of these things were predicted and we were warned about them,” she said. “Things like loss of privacy and malevolence and malware. We were warned, but a lot of us put on our rose-colored glasses, said ‘Oh well’ and went chasing waterfalls anyway.”