In the 1990s in Nangi village, Nepal, if you wanted to send a small message to another village, you had to walk for several hours because there was no modern communication system. If you wanted to buy a cow or buffalo, you had to hike for several hours over mountainous and rocky terrain to ask the farmers in the nearest village if they have a cow to sell.
Then Mahabir Pun had an idea.
Pun, a native of Nangi, had returned from the US in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in science education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, which had awarded him a scholarship. Upon his return, he founded a high school in Nangi, but he also saw a chance to have a more profound impact on Nepal’s poor and rural villagers. All it would take would be a little money, adventurous and computer-literate volunteers, the evasion of a government ban on the importation of wireless equipment while a civil war was raging, and the installation of wireless network in a sparsely-populated area above 2,200 meters high with no roads, slow postal delivery, and no phones or electricity.
Incredibly, he succeeded. Today, some 175 Nepali villages like his own are connected...
The Internet is a moving target, constantly changing and evolving. As I contemplate its likely trajectory over the next 10 years, I hope whatever form it takes, it continues to exhibit the original values we established in its earliest years. These include the principles of ethics, trust, openness, free access, and shared content. However, I do fear and worry that we are already seeing trends toward certain governments controlling Internet access, conflicts between privacy and security, content and pricing control by a few large players, and more.
At the same time, I foresee a healthy blurring across many disciplines and domains. These “white spaces” open up tremendous opportunities and possibilities: the blurring of physical and virtual reality; the blurring of geography and national identity; the leapfrogging of technologies in developing nations; the rise of autonomous machines and intelligence; the pervasiveness of mobile devices and access; the ubiquity of smart spaces with everything Internet-connected.
The next decade will likely be characterized with extreme mobility, mass personalization, video addiction, location-based services, surprising applications, and continued dramatic societal and lifestyle changes -- and all this wonderful technology will disappear into the infrastructure and be there to serve and assist us wherever, whomever and whenever we are.
Today in Hong Kong 24 new...
The Internet Society has announced the names of 24 individuals who have been selected for induction into the 2014 Internet Hall of Fame. Representing 13 countries, the 2014 class of inductees created new technologies and standards that were foundational to the Internet’s development and expansion, pushing the boundaries of technological and social innovation to connect the world. Read the full press release.
“We all benefit today from the contributions of these individuals, who helped shape the global Internet,” noted Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown. “They forged into uncharted territory with innovative ideas, groundbreaking technologies, and collaborative work to connect more people and countries to the Internet. We are delighted to honor these leaders for their foresight, creativity, dedication, and achievements.”
Internet Hall of Fame inductees fall into three categories: Pioneers were integral to the early design of the Internet; Innovators built on that foundation through technological, commercial or policy advances; and Global Connectors helped expand the Internet’s growth and use around the world.
Over the next 12 months, the Internet Hall of Fame...
Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for her achievements in improving Internet security by jumpstarting the implementation of the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC). That protocol ensures that Web surfers can know for certain that they are visiting a secure site. But these days, Eklund Löwinder is laser-focused on the Internet’s future.
She travels widely with the goal of getting DNSSEC more universally used, and she’s seen steady progress in that area.
“There are still regions that don’t use DNSSEC – South America is one place where county-code Top Level Domains have been slow to adopt it – and many second-level domains still don’t use it,” she said recently. “It’s been an amazing struggle in some countries. But I’m optimistic that one day we will see DNSSEC universally adopted.”
Her sunny outlook also shines through when discussing the work of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which is working on using the DNS-based Authentication with Named Entities (DANE) technology with DNSSEC. She predicts that that technology will strengthen the SMTP- to-SMTP link for email users. “IETF also has announced that it will take up the fight and enact stronger encryption,” she says. “I’m hoping this becomes mandatory for all new machines and continues...
Just as March was bringing us a new season, it also brought new media focus on Internet Hall of Famers worldwide. Here are a few recent mentions. ...
Internet Hall of Famer Anne-Marie Eklund-Lowinder is one of seven people in the world who holds a key to worldwide Internet security, according to The Guardian. Read an exclusive interview she gave to the Internet Hall of Fame this month.
Internet Hall of Fame inductee Nii Quaynor ...