The Internet in 2009 is undergoing the most significant set of changes of its entire history, ccording to one of the men who helped create it, Dr. Vint Cerf. At the official opening of the Internet Society’s (ISOC) new offices in Geneva, on 26 February, Dr Cerf explained that
technical developments in the Internet’s addressing system and the introduction of internationalised domain names are significant milestones.
Such statements carry weight, coming from the man who, in 1972, was one of the inventors of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), two critical technologies that remain at the heart of the Internet today. In addition to his technical
achievements, Dr. Cerf was also one of the founders of ISOC, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world.
Jon McNerney, ISOC’s Chief Operating Officer, paid tribute to Dr. Cerf: “As ISOC reaches out to bring the next billions of users online, we can be sure that the Internet they join will be bigger, more mobile, and more multilingual than ever before. This is very much thanks to the visionary decisions of Vint and his contemporaries to aim for open architectures, open andards, and an inclusive model of development.”
Despite the technical challenges, Dr Cerf spoke of his great optimism for the future of the network and Internet applications. “We’ve now had 35 years of Internet development. It’s been an exciting ride, but it’s not over yet.”
As the Internet expands, nothing is more important than getting the policy right,” said Dr. Cerf. While noting that, as in other fields, abuses of the technology do happen, Dr. Cerf explained that technical measures cannot always stop the bad things, which is why governance is
“The Internet Society’s role as a policy commentator and influencer is central,” he said.