Two dozen Turing Award laureates including Father of the Internet, and former ICANN Chair from 2000 to 2007, Vint Cerf have endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for President of the United States and Senator Kamala Harris for Vice President. As the letter notes, it’s the first time Turing Award Laureates have endorsed a candidate.
In my last column (June 2020), I wrote about my experience with COVID-19 and the challenges involved with getting medical attention. The problem is still with us, even with the improved availability of personal protection equipment and masks. The experience of calling for a doctor’s appointment and being told I could not come into the doctor’s office was unsettling to say the least.
In this episode of Radio Corona, Gideon Lichfield, editor in chief of MIT Technology Review, will discuss the future of our connected world with Vint Cerf, one of the people known as a “father of the internet.”
Even the father of the internet would do things differently if he were creating the internet all over again. At a recent conference, Vint Cerf said he would have started with 128-bit addresses from the start.
“If I could have justified it, putting in a 128-bit address space would have been nice so we wouldn’t have to go through this painful, 20-year process of going from IPv4 to IPv6,” Cerf, who is now Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, told an audience of journalists during a press conference on 22 September at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany, according to the IDG News Service. Cerf said in hindsight he would have also like to have added public key cryptography.
“I doubt I could have gotten away with either one,” said Cerf according to the report, who won a Turing Award in 2004 and is now vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google. “So today we have to retrofit.”
While it couldn’t have been envisaged at the time, it soon became obvious the 32-bit addresses were inadequate.
The report continued:
The 128-bit address space, for instance, “wouldn’t have seemed realistic back then,” he said. Particularly given the effort’s experimental mind-set at the time, “I don’t think we could have forced that.”
There actually was debate about the possibility of variable-length addresses, but proponents of the idea were ultimately defeated because of the extra processing power associated with them, he explained. “Because computers were so expensive back then, we rejected the idea.”
As for public key cryptography, the notion had only recently emerged around the time the internet protocols were being standardized back in 1978.
“I didn’t want to go back and retrofit everything, so we didn’t include it,” Cerf said. “If I could go back and put in public key crypto, I probably would try.”
Father of the internet Vint Cerf narrates this video on one of his three “kids”, the internet. The video gives a history of internet governance, starting with the work Cerf and Bob Kahn did when it was a small Defence Department project and that Jon Postel managed the directory that translated names and IP numbers.Then there was the creation of ICANN and its role as demand for names and numbers got highter. And now how the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has presented a plan to end its contractual oversight and hand this over to ICANN under non-governmental oversight in the hands of an international multistakeholder community.To watch the video if it does not appear above, go to:
Vint Cerf, Nii Quaynor, Beth Noveck and Paul Mockapetris invite you to join them on Tuesday, 11 March at 15:00-16:30 UTC (time converter: tinyurl.com/l458x7v) for an overview of the draft recommendations and report they respectively released earlier this month for public comment:
- ICANN‘s Role in the Internet Governance Ecosystem â Draft Report [PDF, 2.14 MB];
- Public Responsibility Framework â Draft Report;
- ICANN Multistakeholder Innovation â Draft Report [PDF, 424 KB] (Proposals compiled here);
- Identifier Technology Innovation â Draft Report [PDF, 1.76 MB].
The Strategy Panels serve as an integral part of a framework for cross-community dialogue on strategic matters. Advisory in nature, ICANN Strategy Panels’ quintessential objective is to inform and support the development of ICANN‘s new, overarching vision and five-year strategic plan.
The Chairs wish to walk you through their panel’s preliminary recommendations and to seek your input, as panels fine-tune their report and bring their work to a conclusion. This webinar will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions. Your feedback and contributions are key to this project and will be carefully considered. Note that panels also welcome input sent via their publicly archived mailing lists (see www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/strategy-panels-25feb14-en.htm for full reference). Comments are invited through 30 April 2014.
The webinar will be run in an Adobe Connect room with a slide presentation along with a dial-in conference bridge for audio. The session will be conducted in English.
Participants will be given the opportunity to offer comments and to ask questions during the Q&A section. During the course of the webinar, questions may be submitted using the chat function of Adobe Connect. If you cannot join the live session, the recording of the session will be made available shortly after the meeting.
Please register via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, 10 March 2014 â 23:59 UTC to receive the dial-in details. A reminder with log-in and dial-in details will be sent to you prior to the call.
Date: Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Time: 15:00-16:30 UTC (time converter: tinyurl.com/l458x7v)
This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
[news release] ICANN today (14 October) announced the membership and operating timeframe for four strategy panels.
ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer Fadi ChehadÃ© announced creation of the panels during the organizationâs July meeting in Durban, South Africa. ChehadÃ© said they will bring together subject matter experts, thought leaders and industry practitioners to help transform and guide ICANNâs five year strategic plan.
The membership of the strategy panels is here: www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-14oct13-en.htm
ICANN also announced a new timeframe for the panels, under which they are expected to complete their work by 31 January 2014.
âThis new timeframe is aimed at facilitating public comment on the panelsâ work prior to its possible consideration in the formation of ICANNâs strategic plan and our 2015 budget,â said Theresa Swinehart, Senior Advisor to the President on Global Strategy âWe are encouraging our community to provide input and comment before the panels submit their final reports at the end of January.â
The strategy panels are exploring the following subjects:
- Identifier Technology Innovation, chaired by Paul Mockapetris
- ICANN’s Role in the Internet Governance Ecosystem, chaired by Vint Cerf
- ICANN Multistakeholder Innovation, chaired by Beth Simone Noveck
- Public Responsibility Framework, chaired by Nii Quaynor.
The four panels begin work this month. The public comment period on the panels’ recommendations will begin 31 January 2014 and conclude 31 March 2014.
A fifth panel had been announced in Durban on the Role of ICANN in the Future of Internet Governance. That panel is being refocused and more information will be announced in the coming weeks.
To watch a video interview with Theresa Swinehart, please visit:
For more information about the ICANN strategy panels, please visit:
During today’s opening ceremony of ICANN 47 in Durban, South Africa, President and CEO Fadi ChehadÃ© announced the creation of five new ICANN Strategy Panels that will serve as an integral part of a framework for cross-community dialogue on strategic matters. The ICANN Strategy Panels will convene subject matter experts, thought leaders and industry practitioners to support development of ICANN‘s strategic and operational plans, in coordination with many other global players, and will be comprised of up to seven members including the chair for an anticipated one-year timeframe.
Designed to conduct work in critical strategic areas identified by the community, Board and staff, the ICANN Strategy Panels will build on public input being generated to inform a new, overarching vision and five-year strategic plan, and subsequent operating plan, for the organization. Advisory in nature, the ICANN Strategy Panels will report to ChehadÃ©; will operate in a manner consistent with ICANN‘s commitment to transparency and accountability; and will channel all views, guidance and advice produced into the standard community and Board processes that guide ICANN‘s activities.
In its fourteen-year history, ICANN has grown to reflect a changing landscape of continued innovation, interconnectedness, and unprecedented growth in the DNS ecosystem, one that transcends groups and borders to serve the public interest. Yet, the Internet is at a critical inflection point as billions of new people are expected to join the global network in the next few years and as the nature of its usage matures dramatically. With this in mind, the ICANN Strategy Panels are expected to help catalyze transformation and advance ICANN‘s role in the context of a dynamic, increasingly complex global environment.
Schedules and Operations
The ICANN Strategy Panels will conduct their activities, starting in September 2013, primarily online and through conference calls, although face-to-face meetings are expected to take place according to the needs of each panel. The ICANN Strategy Panels will also provide public updates on their progress that will be linked to ICANN‘s overall strategic and operational planning activities. Dedicated ICANN executive liaisons have been assigned to and will support each of the ICANN Strategy Panels throughout the process.
Members and Objectives
The ICANN Strategy Panels will focus specifically on identifier technology innovation; ICANN‘s role in the Internet organizations’ ecosystem; ICANN multistakeholder innovation; the public responsibility framework; and the role of ICANN in the future of Internet governance. Chairs who will lead the panels in their respective concentrations and who will guide the panels in their groundbreaking efforts have been identified; however, qualified individuals interested in serving as committee members are still being sought. Potential panel members need not originate directly from ICANN structures, but should have a deep understanding of and concern for the work being undertaken by ICANN, and an ability to think strategically, globally, and creatively about the challenges inherent in the ICANN Strategy Panels’ mandate. Interested individuals should send their resume/CV to the email addresses affiliated with each of the specialty areas by 29 July 2013. Members will be selected by ICANN‘s President & CEO, in coordination with each ICANN Strategy Panel Chair.
Strategy Panel on Identifier Technology Innovation
â¢Â Engage with the ICANN community and public on technology matters;
â¢Â Develop a technology roadmap for DNS and other identifiers; and
â¢Â Provide a technology roadmap for ICANN technical and security operations, including best practice recommendations and reference systems.
Strategy Panel on ICANN‘s Role in the Internet Organizations’ Ecosystem
â¢Â Facilitate review of the assumptions, linkages and frameworks that underlie ICANN‘s responsibilities in the current Internet ecosystem;
â¢Â Seek insights on ways to maintain and enhance ICANN‘s stewardship in an evolving ecosystem; and
â¢Â Cultivate thought leadership on ways in which ICANN can serve a complex set of Internet constituencies.
Strategy Panel on ICANN Multistakeholder Innovation
â¢Â Examine how Internet policy related to unique identifiers might be best managed in the future;
â¢Â Propose new models for broad, inclusive engagement, consensus-based policymaking and institutional structures to support such enhanced functions; and
â¢Â Design processes, tools and platforms that enable the global ICANN community to engage in these new forms of participatory decision-making.
Strategy Panel on the Public Responsibility Framework
â¢Â Propose ICANN‘s role and five-year strategic objectives and milestones for promoting the global public interest vis-Ã -vis ICANN‘s mission and core values and for building out the base of internationally diverse, knowledgeable and engaged ICANN stakeholders, especially within the developing world;
â¢Â Propose a framework for implementation of ICANN‘s role, objectives and milestones for promoting the global public interest, building capacity within the ICANN community, and increasing the base of internationally diverse, knowledgeable and engaged ICANN stakeholders; and
â¢Â Provide advice on programs and initiatives that help achieve the above objectives.
Strategy Panel on the Role of ICANN in the Future of Internet Governance
â¢Â Provide a set of guiding principles to ensure the successful evolution of ICANN‘s transnational multistakeholder model in cooperation with national and international bodies;
â¢Â Propose a roadmap for evolving and globalizing ICANN‘s role in the Internet governance ecosystem in consultation with global players; and
â¢Â In coordination with the many other global players and ICANN stakeholders, propose a framework for implementation of ICANN‘s role, objectives and milestones in global Internet governance.
As the ICANN Strategy Panels get underway, additional information will be available via ICANN‘s strategic planning portal.
This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
The International Telecommunication Union conference currently underway in Dubai, from 3 to 14 December, has been generating some controversy recently. This is due to proposals that many view as a power grab by the United Nations organisation to take control of some internet governance roles.
The grandly named World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) has gathered interest from luminaries involved in the domain name arena from father of the internet Vint Cerf to Paul Twomey to Milton Mueller. Even Sir Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has expressed his concerns about proposals up for discussion.
But concerns the ITU is making a power grab are denied by the ITU. Leaked proposed regulations from countries such as Russia suggest that some countries want the role of, for example, ICANN, to come under the auspices of the ITU.
Twomey goes on to note what some of the changes proposed would be if adopted.
âIncluded in the fine printâ he writes âare proposals by Russia, China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others that could justify the following:
- introduction of a spreading international regime for deep monitoring of internet communications, along with a move towards personal identification of who is sending and receiving communications;
- dramatically increase the capacity of governments to restrict or completely block transmission of information via the internet; and
- result in significant increases in the costs to internet users for accessing content on the internet.â
And then âproposals from some governments, if accepted, would go much further, including requirements that:
- the internet be used âin a rational wayâ;
- governments restrict the use of the internet where this would âinterfere in the internal affairs of other states, or divulge information of a sensitive natureâ; and
- governments be required to re-route or block traffic passing through their territory simply on the request of another government.â
But the ITU’s secretary general, Hamadoun Toure, insists this is not the case and has said the ITUâs goal is not to regulate speech. There are many who believe otherwise. And the secrecy that surrounds ITU processes means itâs hard for many to know for sure given typical ITU secrecy.
However former ICANN CEO and president Paul Twomey writes on ABC Newsâ The Drum that âwhen the cheer squad includes China’s public security bureau, Putin’s bureaucrats and the Iranian government, it pays to be sceptical.â
There is as a proposal from the US and Canada, with support from the European Union and Australia, meaning most, if not all, western countries object to changes as rumoured to being proposed.
The proposal from the US and Canada is to âprotect the internet from new international regulation has failed to win prompt backing from other countries, setting up potentially tough negotiations to rewrite a telecom treaty,â according to a Reuters report.
The idea âwould limit the International Telecommunication Union’s rules to only telecom operators and not internet-based companies such as Google and Facebook.â
Reuters goes on to report âthat could reduce the prospective impact of efforts by other countries including Russia and some in the Middle East and Africa to obtain more powers to govern the Internet through the ITU.â
âITU Secretary-General Hamadoun TourÃ© told Reuters last week that any major changes to the 1988 treaty would be adopted only with “consensus” approaching unanimity, but leaked documents show that managers at the 147-year-old body view a bad split as a strong possibility.â
For links to the stories mentioned above and additional reports and opinion pieces, see below:
Keep the Internet free and open by Vint Cerf
Googleâs Vint Cerf: Keep the Internet Free and Open
The new push to control the internet by Paul Twomey
Internet revolution in crisis by Milton Mueller
UN internet regulation talks in Dubai threaten web freedom
US fails to win early limit on Net controls at global gathering
Sir Tim Berners-Lee flags UN net conference concerns
Berners-Lee warns against changes to Net at UN conclave
The Internetâs Future Depends on Maintaining Its Free Spirit by Vint Cerf
Eye on Dubai: Predictions on U.N. Internet Regulations
Cutting Our Own Net by Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
Today is the launch of World IPv6 Day, a day organised by the Internet Society to encourage deployment of IPv6 throughout the world. The day has the support of leading websites, ISPs, and home router equipment manufacturers.There are now more devices connected to the internet than there are people, and the number of available IPv4 addresses is being rapidly exhausted. To ensure the internet can continue to grow and connect billions more people and devices around the world, thousands of companies and millions of websites have now permanently enabled the next generation of internet protocol (IPv6) for their products and services. Participants in World IPv6 Launch include the four most visited websites in the world – Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Yahoo! – as well as home router manufacturers and Internet Service Providers in more than 100 countries. By making IPv6 the “new normal,” these companies are enabling millions of end users to enjoy its benefits without having to do anything themselves.World IPv6 Launch is organised by the Internet Society as part of its mission to ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible for everyone – including the other five billion people not yet connected to the Internet.”The support of IPv6 from these thousands of organizations delivers a critical message to the world: IPv6 is not just a ‘nice to have’; it is ready for business today and will very soon be a ‘must have,'” said Leslie Daigle, Chief Internet Technology Officer, Internet Society. “We believe that the commitment of these companies to deploy IPv6 will ensure that they remain industry leaders. Any company wishing to be effective in the new Internet should do the same.”The World IPv6 Day in 2011 was a 24-hour test that focused on websites. This year, World IPv6 Launch is a permanent commitment across the Internet industry, including ISPs and home networking equipment manufacturers around the world, laying the foundation to accelerate the deployment of IPv6 across the global Internet. Major websites are permanently enabling IPv6 starting 6 June 2012 at 0000 UTC on their main websites. ISPs will permanently enable IPv6 across a significant portion of their current and all new residential wireline subscribers. Home networking equipment manufacturers will enable IPv6 by default through their range of home router products, and recent commitments to IPv6 by companies beyond websites demonstrates a broader support of the new Internet Protocol.The transition though “is incredibly hard, painstaking work by engineers looking to make sure that every line of code that ‘knows’ an IP address is 32 bits long in a certain format also ‘knows’ that it could also be in IPv6 format, 128 bits long,” father of the internet and Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf told CNET. “This is a major accomplishment for ISPs and application providers around the world. The router and edge device providers have mostly done their homework years ago, but the ISPs and app providers are largely just getting there.”Cerf also said they had “hoped for much earlier implementation [of IPv6]. It would have been so much easier. But people had not run out of IPv4 and NAT boxes.”When developing IPv4, Cerf said that he and Bob Kahn “estimated that there might be two national-scale packet networks per country and perhaps 128 countries able to build them, so 8 bits sufficed for 256 network identifiers. Twenty-four bits allowed for up to 16 million hosts. At that time, hosts were big, expensive time-sharing systems, so 16 million seemed like a lot. We did consider variable length and 128-bit addressing in 1977 but decided that this would be too much overhead for the relatively low-speed lines (50 kilobits per second). I thought this was still an experiment and that if it worked we would then design a production version. The experiment lasted until 2011, and now we are launching the production IPv6 on June 6.”The last blocks of the 4.3 billion IP addresses enabled by the current Internet Protocol (IPv4) were assigned to the Regional Internet Registries in February 2011. Already there is no remaining IPv4 address space to be distributed in the Asia Pacific region, and very soon the rest of the globe will follow. IPv4 address space is expected to run out in Europe this year, in the U.S. next year, and in Latin America and Africa in 2014. IPv6 provides more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses (an essentially unlimited number or alternatively 2 to the 128th power, or 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses), which will help connect the billions of people that are not connected today, allow a wide range of devices to connect directly with one another, and help ensure the Internet can continue its current growth rate indefinitely.For more information about World IPv6 Launch and the participating companies, as well as links to useful information for users and how other companies can participate in the continued deployment of IPv6, visit: www.worldipv6launch.org