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January 20, 2020 | 0 comments
World Wide Web founder and Internet Hall of Fame inductee Tim Berners-Lee has officially launched his attempt to bring his creation back to the people.  

Created in response to a rise in hate speech and government censorship efforts, the Contract for the Web is a set of nine core principles designed to facilitate user access while respecting personal data. 

Still in its early stages, the initiative has received support from more than 150 companies and non-profit organizations, including Microsoft, Google, DuckDuckGo, Facebook and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

In a recent interview, Berners-Lee acknowledged the power of the web’s less than benign forces prompted him to take action. 

“It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now,” he said.  

January 9, 2020 | 0 comments

2012 Internet Hall of Fame inductee Peter Kirstein, who started the first European ARPANET node with transatlantic IP connectivity, died on Wednesday at his home in London, according to the New York Times. He was 86.

Professor Kirstein, often recognized as the “father of the European Internet” for this work, established that node with his research group at the University of London in 1973.

Because of this, he is also widely recognized for forging a cultural milestone in British history when he put Queen Elizabeth on the Internet three years later and enabled her to become one of the first heads of state to send an email. Indeed, he was responsible for choosing her user name, HME2, short for “Her Majesty, Elizabeth II.”

But his contributions to the growth of the Internet in Europe went far beyond royalty. Professor Kirstein embraced TCP/IP protocols in his London research lab at a time when competing protocols were being promoted by international standards groups.

Professor Kirstein’s adoption of TCP/IP was significant to the way the Internet has developed. The competing protocols were backed by European governments, telephone monopolies and other corporate interests. ...

December 26, 2019 | 0 comments

A 2019 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame fully expects web giants to be part of the campaign trail in the next election cycle. 

Larry Irving was Assistant Secretary of Commerce during President Clinton’s administration and is one of the architects of the United States’ early domestic and foreign Internet policies. He is also the author of the first empirical study that proved the existence of the digital divide.              

In a recent interview on the Fox Business Channel, Irving pointed out how the Internet’s rapid growth has led to the massive expansion of web-based companies like Amazon and Facebook that have a presence across multiple platforms. That wide reach has drawn lawmakers’ attention and as he noted, will be a campaign trail topic in 2020.  

“This is not going to go away, no matter who is president and no matter what congress looks like,” Irving said. “On both sides of the aisle, both sides of the Hill, folks are looking at doing something about big tech.” 

December 11, 2019 | 0 comments

Wikipedia, meet Facebook. 

In an effort to combat the spread of fake news via social media, Wikipedia founder and Internet Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Wales has quietly launched WT:Social, a social networking site that allows users to share links to articles on a wide range of topics and discuss them in a Facebook-style news feed. Similar to Wikipedia, it relies on donations from users in order to operate ad-free.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Wales acknowledged that there is no guarantee the platform will succeed. Wales attempted something similar in 2017 with the crowd-funded launch of Wikitribune, which ultimately failed to attract a sustainable audience. 

“This is a radical, crazy experiment of mine,” he said. “I’m happy to say I don’t know all the answers."

December 9, 2019 | 0 comments

Envy helped drive Internet Hall of Fame inductee Ira Fuchs into action. 

A 2017 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Fuchs is a co-founder of BITNET, a cooperative network between the City University of New York and Yale University that provided email, file transfer, and instant messaging to faculty, researchers and students throughout the world in the early 1980s.

In a video interview from his 2017 induction, Fuchs acknowledged that BITNET’s origins stemmed in part from a desire to be able to use something similar to another precursor to the Internet: ARPANET

“The fact is that I was envious of ARPANET users,” he said. “It was only available to a small number of schools and universities within the United States…and I thought this was great, but when is it going to be available and affordable to a larger group?”