Blog Posts for 2016

March 7, 2016 | 0 comments

As news of Ray Tomlinson’s untimely passing reverberates across an Internet that he helped to create, the Internet Hall of Fame wanted to take some time to share its memories of Ray and his groundbreaking contributions to the way we communicate.

In 2012, when Ray was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, he shared in his acceptance speech the moment he realized the full impact of his work.

It came in 1996, over 20 years after he’d developed the first network application for email, but it truly exemplified how he—and many other Internet Hall of Fame inductees—viewed the importance of their work:  it was always about people.

Ray told the story of a reference librarian from the Institute of Standards and Technology, who had interviewed him for a monthly organizational newsletter. After learning about his email contributions in her interview, she outreached to him a few months later in a follow-up email with the subject line, “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!”

But this email wasn’t about work. It was another matter entirely.

She explained that she had a relative who was sick with a...

February 16, 2016 | 0 comments

‘Is the solution to solving Internet privacy technological, social or political?’ This is the question the Internet Hall of Fame posed to inductee Paul Vixie in a conversation that – appropriately enough – coincided with Privacy Day January 28.

Dr. Vixie is no newcomer to the privacy issue. He is responsible for designing, implementing and deploying several DNS (Domain Name System) protocol extensions and applications that are used throughout the Internet today, including dynamic update, network reputation and BIND open-source software.

BIND in particular, which stands for Berkeley Internet Name Domain, is the most widely used DNS software on the Internet today. Vixie’s extensions allowed the DNS to scale beyond the original design and incorporate the first elements of security. (Among numerous other accomplishments, he also founded the first anti-spam non-profit, Mail Abuse Prevention System).

The simplicity of the question that we posed belies the complexity of the answer. As Dr. Vixie notes in his response, below, the privacy issue is a “moving, multidimensional target.” But he clearly outlines the multidimensional issues that must be addressed if our global society is to effectively protect the privacy of Internet users today and...

February 9, 2016 | 0 comments

Looking back now, some of the Internet's founders wonder if they should have left guidance on how the network should "grow up," according to a recent interview by PRI with inductee David Clark and others.

“We clearly couldn’t anticipate how big it was going to be,” Mr. Clark tells the publication. “Whenever I go back and read things that I wrote or others in the group wrote about planning for the future we consistently underestimated what was going to happen."

In the story, David Clark and others who are interviewed offer Internet users a warning, practical suggestions for development and comparisons for the Internet with the Homestead Act of 1862.

Read or listen to the interview on PRI here.

February 9, 2016 | 0 comments

In a recent blog post and subsequent 'Ask Me Anything' on Reddit, inductee John Perry Barlow commemorates the 20th anniversary of his 'A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace' manifesto.

As reported by Inverse, when John Perry Barlow is asked on the AMA if he thinks there should be limits to online speech, he summarizes the challenge:  

“I don’t know how to limit speech on the Internet, that’s the issue. I don’t know a way to limit one form of speech, without limiting any form of speech. Besides, as John Stuart Mill said, liberty resides in the rights in that person’s views which you find most odious. And if you can’t defend the expressions that trouble you, you’ll have a hard time defending your own when they trouble someone else.”

Read the full article here.

January 12, 2016 | 0 comments

“It’s no accident that Iowa, where the first transcontinental railroad began, is now home to a huge data-center industry,” writes Ingrid Burrington in this article for The Atlantic.

Burrington, visiting the American town where the Union Pacific route for the first transcontinental railroad began, examines how networks follow networks, and that while these "ghosts" aren’t always obvious, they form an historical  infrastructure that has forged a literal and figurative path to our technological future.