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April 11, 2012 | 0 comments

Vint Cerf invented the protocol that rules them all: TCP/IP. Most people have never heard of it. But it describes the fundamental architecture of the internet, and it made possible Wi-Fi, Ethernet, LANs, the World Wide Web, e-mail, FTP, 3G/4G ― as well as all of the inventions built upon those inventions.

Cerf did that in 1973. For most of you that’s probably 20 years before you even knew what the internet was. That’s why he’s known as the father of the internet and earned himself a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Cerf didn’t stop there ― he went on to co-found the Internet Society (ISOC) and served as president of ICANN, the organization which operates the domain naming system.

So it was pretty much a given that Cerf would be inducted, as he was on Monday, into ISOC’s internet Hall of Fame in its inaugural year.

Just a few days beforehand Cerf talked with Wired about how the military brought the TCP/IP protocol into being, how he and his co-conspirators knew ― almost 40 years ago ― what they were unleashing on the world, the threats to the net today, and what he’d like to see next: a vision that includes internet packets raining down from the sky.

For those who’d like to...