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September 4, 2019 | 0 comments

The first draft is in on a proposed Internet user agreement from one of the web’s founders – and he wants feedback.

Citing a rise in hate speech and government censorship efforts, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who helped develop the World Wide Web 30 years ago while at CERN, announced his intent in November to put together a “contract for the web” to facilitate its continued existence for future generations. 

The document itself, as noted in a recent CNET story, is designed to be a collaborative affair. It includes parameters for governments, companies and citizens, but it also requires input from those three groups to shape it. 

The final version is slated to be released in late 2019.

September 3, 2019 | 0 comments

On 27 September, the Internet Society will gather to reveal the fifth class of Internet Hall of Fame inductees, and there are three ways that you can participate in this historic event.  

The induction ceremony, which will be held in San José, Costa Rica, will be broadcast via LiveStream. We will also be posting ceremony highlights on Twitter @Internet_hof (#ihof2019) and Facebook as they happen.

This ceremony marks the first time the awards have been held in Latin America since the program’s inception. The first Internet Hall of Fame was held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2012, and ceremonies have since been held in Berlin, Hong Kong and Los Angeles. 

Costa Rica was chosen to host the event in part because of the strong example it has set in employing a collaborative approach to Internet governance, and because of the systematic approach it has taken in closing the country’s digital divide.

August 21, 2019 | 0 comments

Although he wants to see continued expansion of Internet connectivity, Ermanno Pietrosemoli does not want it to be dictated by commercial interests. 

A 2017 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Pietrosemoli is one of the founders of Escuela Latinoamericana de Redes, an organization that promotes information technology across South America. 

During his 30-year tenure with the telecommunications laboratory at Venezuela’s Universidad de los Andes, he played a key role in building a direct connection between his institution and the Internet’s early backbone in Homestead, Florida.

In a recent video interview, Pietrosemoli expressed his concern that technological advances in the commercial sector have come at the expense of the social goals that were at the heart of the Internet’s early development. 

“There are so many commercial interests that have been…orthogonal to the original goal of advancing connectivity and joining people together,” he said. “Unfortunately, some of the latest developments have been against that trend. In the pursuit of economic benefits...

August 16, 2019 | 0 comments

2012 Internet Hall of Fame inductee Danny Cohen, whose work paved the way for voice over IP (VOIP) technology, died August 12th in Palo Alto, Calif., according to his family. He was 81.  

Writes The New York Times:  “Dr. Cohen, an Israeli immigrant who started out as a mathematician, is credited with designing the first real-time computerized flight simulation system, providing the experience of piloting a plane without having to leave the ground. When he took on the project, he told Wired magazine in 2012, the challenge was not just to master flying as a skill -- he later became an accomplished pilot -- but also to represent it graphically on a computer.”  

Cohen developed the flight simulator in 1967 on a general purpose computer (he also developed the first real-time radar simulator). This led to the creation of the ...

August 9, 2019 | 0 comments

When you grow up surrounded by civil war, you tend to ignore the rules and become resourceful. 

That’s what Nabil Bukhalid did in the late 1980s and early 1990s with an ad hoc group of colleagues at American University of Beirut (AUB), turning what began as an effort to get faculty access to medical journals over computer networks into a full-fledged effort to connect the country to the Internet. 

Bukhalid was trained as an electrical engineer, “during the early phases of computing, back when we used to build computers rather than use them,” he said. He began looking at networking in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s while developing his specialty in biomedical engineering.

“Medical devices were starting to connect to networks then,” he said, and he began looking at connection options to help researchers and doctors in the war-torn, resource-lacking country gain access to a new online library for medical journals.

“We had no infrastructure, no government,” he said of his early efforts. “Even when the civil war ended we had no government and the infrastructure was completely destroyed. We had no electricity. The war made us a bit creative." 

Still, he found himself in a catch-22. Without a proper phone line or modem, he was unable to gain an IP...