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.”
Larry Irving did not have just a single “Aha” moment when attempting to expand the Internet’s reach.
He had dozens.
“Every time I talked to somebody, their ‘aha’ moment became my ‘aha’ moment,” he said in a recent video interview. “They’d see it through their lens and that would make me a better articulator of this vision because now I’ve got 15 or 20 or 30 visions.
“If you put the technology in the hands of the people, they’ll come up with great ideas every time.”
A 2019 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Irving served for seven years as administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, becoming one of the main architects of telecommunications policy in the Clinton White House.
He is credited with developing the phrase “digital divide” to describe the gap between people who do and do not have regular, reliable access to the Internet.
August marked the 25th anniversary of commercial Internet services making their debut in India.
Among the key people facilitating Internet access was Srinivasan Ramani, a 2014 Internet Hall of Fame inductee. In the early 1980s, Ramani proposed and helped develop an academic network that started with email exchanges and the development of TCP/IP protocols between some of the country’s major cities.
In a recent piece for LiveMint, several of the people directly involved with the launch of India’s commercial Internet service recalled the unique challenges they had to overcome in the 1990s, even with the groundbreaking work from Ramani and his academic colleagues in the 1980s.
"It was a very primitive precursor of the web," Gopi Garge said. “It’s a single system where you have one telephone line and one modem. You have a set of users who log in one at a time and leave messages, read messages from the others, and then log off. Then somebody else logs on."