In 1963, Ted Nelson coined the terms "hypertext" and "hypermedia" because...
A mistaken belief has sprung up that the Internet was invented at the Pentagon in 1969. Ian Peter sets the record straight - comprehensively!
History of the Internet
Excerpt: Perhaps the most serious rebuttal on the theory of Pentagon origins (otherwise known as the big bang theory of Internet origins) came from the person who was in charge of the Pentagon Arpanet project at the time when the Internet supposedly began, Bob Taylor. Writing in reference to a mailing list invitation to attend the 35th anniversary event, Bob Taylor explained:
"In February of 1966 I initiated the ARPAnet project. I was Director of ARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) from late '65 to late '69. There were only two people involved in the decision to launch the ARPAnet: my boss, the Director of ARPA Charles Herzfeld, and me. Numerous untruths have been disseminated about events surrounding the origins of the ARPAnet. Here are some facts: The creation of the ARPAnet was not motivated by considerations of war. The ARPAnet was not an internet. An internet is a connection between two or more computer networks." >>> more
Vint Cerf and Robert E. Kahn, "the fathers of the Internet", co-designed Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) in 1973, the two original protocols of the Internet protocol suite: “Cerf began his work at the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) playing a key role in leading the development of Internet and Internet-related data packet and security technologies. … Cerf also served from 2000-2007 as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an organization he helped form.” Since 2005, Cerf has served as vice president of Google.
See the Internet Hall of Fame listings HERE
A graduate of Oxford University, Tim Berners-Lee's first hypertext database system was launched in 1980.
By 1989, he had invented the World Wide Web for global information sharing. He wrote the first web client and server in 1990. His specifications of URLs, HTTP and HTML were refined as Web technology spread. He is the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). See talks by W3C speakers here.
The World Wide Web Foundation was launched in 2009 to coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit humanity. Berners-Lee has promoted open government data globally and is a member of the UK's transparency Board. What do we want? Raw data! Watch Tim Berners-Lee's TED.com lectures here
For his next project, he's building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together.
Free and Open Source Software
"Mozilla is on a mission to keep the Internet growing and healthy.
... to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all.
An Internet that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent."
Read the Mozilla Manifesto
The GNU Operating System GNU was launched by Richard Stallman in 1983, as an operating system which would be put together by people working together for the freedom of all software users to control their computing:
The name “GNU” is a recursive acronym for “GNU's Not Unix!”
If you're looking for a whole system to install, see our list of GNU/Linux distributions which are entirely free software. >>> more
The Debian Project Free universal operating system
The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. >>> more
What is it? The Internet Archive is a San Francisco–based nonprofit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". What does it do? It captures data:
498 billion web pages saved over time.
The future of the Internet? Harald Haas is working on it.
Harald Haas, Chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, is the pioneer behind a new technology that can communicate as well as illuminate. "Imagine using your car headlights to transmit data...or surfing the web safely on a plane, tethered only by a line of sight. Using a regular LED light and a solar panel, Harald Haas and his team have invented a way to transmit data to a laptop using light–while the solar cell also creates electricity to run the laptop."
How LiFi Differs from RF wireless:
"Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921 for 'his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect' rather than his more famous theory of relativity." >>> more
The End of the Internet Dream by Jennifer Granick,
Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. In 20 years, the Web might complete its shift from liberator to oppressor.
It’s up to us to prevent that. Jennifer Granick was the keynote speaker at Black Hat 2015. Read a modified version of her speech here
Watch Jennifer Granick's speech: The Lifecycle of a Revolution Published on YouTube, Aug 10, 2015
In the early days of the public internet, we believed that we were helping build something totally new, a world that would leave behind the shackles of age, of race, of gender, of class, even of law. Twenty years on, "cyberspace" looks a lot less revolutionary than it once did. Hackers have become information security professionals. Racism and sexism have proven resiliant enough to thrive in the digital world. Big companies are getting even bigger, and the decisions corporationsnot just governmentsmake about security, privacy, and free speech affect hundreds of thousands, or millions, of people. The Four Horsemen of the Infocalypseterrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderersare driving online policy as governments around the world are getting more deeply involved in the business of regulating the network. Meanwhile, the Next Billion Internet Users are going to connect from Asia and developing countries without a Bill of Rights. Centralization, Regulation, and Globalization are the key words, and over the next twenty years, we'll see these forces change digital networks and information security as we know it today. So where does that leave security, openness, innovation, and freedom?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is being used to weld the hood of cars shut to keep engine software safe from mechanics. Will we still have the Freedom to Tinker even in the oldest of technologies? What does it mean that the U.S. is a big player in the zero-day market even as international agreements seek to regulate exploit code and surveillance tools? Will we see liability for insecure software and what does that mean for open source? With advances in artificial intelligence that will decide who gets run over, who gets a loan, who gets a job, how far off can legal liability regimes for robots, drones, and even algorythms be? Is the global Internet headed for history's dustbin, and what does a balkanized network mean for security, for civil rights?
The capture of the internet by large corporations
MONOPOLISATION OF THE INTERNET COMMONS If economic power is concentrated in a few powerful hands you have the political economy for feudalism, or authoritarianism, not democracy. ... When people tune out politics, they are not being hip or cool or ironic. They are being played. – Robert McChesney
We Need to Advocate Radical Solutions to Systemic Problems 04 January 2015
By Mark Karlin
Robert McChesney, a leader in challenging the corporate media's role in degrading democracy, carries on this fight with Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century. In the book, he makes an urgent and compelling argument for ending communication monopolies and building a post-capitalist democracy that serves people over corporations.
Interview Excerpt: Mark Karlin:In a Truthout Progressive Pick of the Week interview in 2013 about your book, Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy, you reflected profound pessimism about the capture of the internet by large corporations - and the evolution of net consumers into marketing "products." Is the trend of the co-option of the web by a few large corporations accelerating?
Robert McChesney:Whether the process is accelerating is a difficult question to measure or to answer. That the process exists and that it is the dominant fact about the internet is not controversial. Barring radical policy intervention, the domination of the internet by a handful of gigantic monopolists will continue and remain the order of the day. After Digital Disconnect was published, I had a meeting in October 2013 with Sue Gardner, who was then the person in charge of Wikipedia. Sue told me that it would be impossible for Wikipedia or anything like it to get launched by then, because the system was locked down by the giants and privileged commercial values. I was left with the impression that Wikipedia got in just before the deadline, so to speak.
What is striking about this corporate monopolization of the internet is that all the wealth and power has gone to a small number of absolutely enormous firms.As we enter 2015, 13 of the 33 most valuable corporations in the United States are internet firms, and nearly all of them enjoy monopolistic market power as economists have traditionally used the term.If you continue to scan down the list there are precious few internet firms to be found. There is not much of a middle class or even an upper-middle class of internet corporations to be found.
This poses a fundamental problem for democracy, though it is one that mainstream commentators and scholars appear reluctant to acknowledge: If economic power is concentrated in a few powerful hands you have the political economy for feudalism, or authoritarianism, not democracy. Concentrated economic power invariably overwhelms the political equality democracy requires, leading to routinized corruption and an end of the rule of law. That is where we are today in the United States.>>> more
The Electronic Frontier Foundationis the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.
EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations. By mobilizing more than 50,000 concerned citizens through our Action Center, EFF beats back bad legislation. In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public. >>> more
Excerpt: In the introduction, Julian Assange explains that it is never enough to publish the secret messages of great power: that making sense of them is crucial, as well as placing them in the context of today and historical memory.
Wondrous technology has become both our friend and our enemy. Every time we turn on a computer or pick up a digital device – our secular rosary beads – we are subjected to control: to surveillance of our habits and routines, and to lies and manipulation.
Edward Bernays, who invented the term “public relations” as a euphemism for “propaganda”, predicted this more than 80 years ago. He called it, “the invisible government”.
He wrote, “Those who manipulate this unseen element of [modern democracy] constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of ...”
The aim of this invisible government is the conquest of us: of our political consciousness, our sense of the world, our ability to think independently, to separate truth from lies.
This is a form of fascism, a word we are rightly cautious about using, preferring to leave it in the flickering past. But an insidious modern fascism is now an accelerating danger. As in the 1930s, big lies are delivered with the regularity of a metronome. Muslims are bad. Saudi bigots are good. ISIS bigots are bad. Russia is always bad. China is getting bad. Bombing Syria is good. Corrupt banks are good. Corrupt debt is good. Poverty is good. War is normal. >>> more