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Vint Cerf: 'The Internet Is For Everyone' 163

Posted by michael
from the pay-as-you-go dept.
Joel Rowbottom writes "Vint Cerf has written a damn fine RFC (3271), entitled 'The Internet Is For Everyone'. It's a good, well-balanced document which details the 'Internet Society's ideology' about the growth of the 'Net, where we can go now, and where we might be in some years' time. Worth a read."
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Vint Cerf: 'The Internet Is For Everyone'

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  • Slashdotted (Score:5, Informative)

    by AirLace (86148) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:18AM (#3420903)
    The official RFC3271 page at the IETF is http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3271.txt?number=3271 [ietf.org].
  • The RFC (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:27AM (#3420933)
    Network Working Group V. Cerf
    Request for Comments: 3271 Internet Society
    Category: Informational April 2002

    The Internet is for Everyone

    Status of this Memo

    This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
    not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
    memo is unlimited.

    Copyright Notice

    Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002). All Rights Reserved.

    Abstract

    This document expresses the Internet Society's ideology that the
    Internet really is for everyone. However, it will only be such if
    we make it so.

    1. The Internet is for everyone

    How easy to say - how hard to achieve!

    How have we progressed towards this noble goal?

    The Internet is in its 14th year of annual doubling since 1988.
    There are over 150 million hosts on the Internet and an estimated 513
    million users, world wide.

    By 2006, the global Internet is likely to exceed the size of the
    global telephone network, if it has not already become the telephone
    network by virtue of IP telephony. Moreover, as many as 1.5 billion
    Internet-enabled appliances will have joined traditional servers,
    desk tops and laptops as part of the Internet family. Pagers, cell
    phones and personal digital assistants may well have merged to become
    the new telecommunications tools of the next decade. But even at the
    scale of the telephone system, it is sobering to realize that only
    half of the Earth's population has ever made a telephone call.

    It is estimated that commerce on the network will reach somewhere
    between $1.8T and $3.2T by 2003. That is only two years from now
    (but a long career in Internet years).

    Cerf Informational [Page 1]

    RFC 3271 The Internet is for Everyone April 2002

    The number of Internet users will likely reach over 1000 million by
    the end of the year 2005, but that is only about 16% of the world's
    population. By 2047 the world's population may reach about 11
    billion. If only 25% of the then world's population is on the
    Internet, that will be nearly 3 billion users.

    As high bandwidth access becomes the norm through digital subscriber
    loops, cable modems and digital terrestrial and satellite radio
    links, the convergence of media available on the Internet will become
    obvious. Television, radio, telephony and the traditional print
    media will find counterparts on the Internet - and will be changed in
    profound ways by the presence of software that transforms the one-way
    media into interactive resources, shareable by many.

    The Internet is proving to be one of the most powerful amplifiers of
    speech ever invented. It offers a global megaphone for voices that
    might otherwise be heard only feebly, if at all. It invites and
    facilitates multiple points of view and dialog in ways
    unimplementable by the traditional, one-way, mass media.

    The Internet can facilitate democratic practices in unexpected ways.
    Did you know that proxy voting for stock shareholders is now commonly
    supported on the Internet? Perhaps we can find additional ways in
    which to simplify and expand the voting franchise in other domains,
    including the political, as access to Internet increases.

    The Internet is becoming the repository of all we have accomplished
    as a society. It has become a kind of disorganized "Boswell" of the
    human spirit. Be thoughtful in what you commit to email, news
    groups, and other Internet communication channels - it may well turn
    up in a web search some day. Thanks to online access to common
    repositories, shared databases on the Internet are acting to
    accelerate the pace of research progress.

    The Internet is moving off the planet! Already, interplanetary
    Internet is part of the NASA Mars mission program now underway at the
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory. By 2008 we should have a well-functioning
    Earth-Mars network that serves as a nascent backbone of an inter-
    planetary system of Internets - InterPlaNet is a network of
    Internets! Ultimately, we will have interplanetary Internet relays
    in polar solar orbit so that they can see most of the planets and
    their associated interplanetary gateways for most, if not all of the
    time.

    The Internet Society is launching a new campaign to facilitate access
    to and use of Internet everywhere. The campaign slogan is "Internet
    is for everyone," but there is much work needed to accomplish this
    objective.

    Cerf Informational [Page 2]

    RFC 3271 The Internet is for Everyone April 2002

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if it isn't affordable by
    all that wish to partake of its services, so we must dedicate
    ourselves to making the Internet as affordable as other
    infrastructures so critical to our well-being. While we follow
    Moore's Law to reduce the cost of Internet-enabling equipment, let us
    also seek to stimulate regulatory policies that take advantage of the
    power of competition to reduce costs.

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if Governments restrict
    access to it, so we must dedicate ourselves to keeping the network
    unrestricted, unfettered and unregulated. We must have the freedom
    to speak and the freedom to hear.

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if it cannot keep up with
    the explosive demand for its services, so we must dedicate ourselves
    to continuing its technological evolution and development of the
    technical standards the lie at the heart of the Internet revolution.
    Let us dedicate ourselves to the support of the Internet Architecture
    Board, the Internet Engineering Steering Group, the Internet Research
    Task Force, the Internet Engineering Task Force and other
    organizations dedicated to developing Internet technology as they
    drive us forward into an unbounded future. Let us also commit
    ourselves to support the work of the Internet Corporation for
    Assigned Names and Numbers - a key function for the Internet's
    operation.

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be until in every home, in
    every business, in every school, in every library, in every hospital
    in every town and in every country on the Globe, the Internet can be
    accessed without limitation, at any time and in every language.

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if it is too complex to be
    used easily by everyone. Let us dedicate ourselves to the task of
    simplifying the Internet's interfaces and to educating all that are
    interested in its use.

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if legislation around the
    world creates a thicket of incompatible laws that hinder the growth
    of electronic commerce, stymie the protection of intellectual
    property, and stifle freedom of expression and the development of
    market economies. Let us dedicate ourselves to the creation of a
    global legal framework in which laws work across national boundaries
    to reinforce the upward spiral of value that the Internet is capable
    of creating.

    Cerf Informational [Page 3]

    RFC 3271 The Internet is for Everyone April 2002

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if its users cannot
    protect their privacy and the confidentiality of transactions
    conducted on the network. Let us dedicate ourselves to the
    proposition that cryptographic technology sufficient to protect
    privacy from unauthorized disclosure should be freely available,
    applicable and exportable. Moreover, as authenticity lies at the
    heart of trust in networked environments, let us dedicate ourselves
    to work towards the development of authentication methods and systems
    capable of supporting electronic commerce through the Internet.

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if parents and teachers
    cannot voluntarily create protected spaces for our young people for
    whom the full range of Internet content still may be inappropriate.
    Let us dedicate ourselves to the development of technologies and
    practices that offer this protective flexibility to those who accept
    responsibility for providing it.

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if we are not responsible
    in its use and mindful of the rights of others who share its wealth.
    Let us dedicate ourselves to the responsible use of this new medium
    and to the proposition that with the freedoms the Internet enables
    comes a commensurate responsibility to use these powerful enablers
    with care and consideration. For those who choose to abuse these
    privileges, let us dedicate ourselves to developing the necessary
    tools to combat the abuse and punish the abuser.

    Internet is for everyone - even Martians!

    I hope Internauts everywhere will join with the Internet Society and
    like-minded organizations to achieve this, easily stated but hard to
    attain goal. As we pass the milestone of the beginning of the third
    millennium, what better theme could we possibly ask for than making
    the Internet the medium of this new millennium?

    Internet IS for everyone - but it won't be unless WE make it so.

    2. Security Considerations

    This document does not treat security matters, except for reference
    to the utility of cryptographic techniques to protect confidentiality
    and privacy.

    Cerf Informational [Page 4]

    RFC 3271 The Internet is for Everyone April 2002

    3. References

    [1] Internet Society - www.isoc.org

    [2] Internet Engineering Task Force - www.ietf.org

    [3] Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers -
    www.ICANN.org

    [4] Cerf's slides: www.wcom.com/cerfsup

    [5] Interplanetary Internet - www.ipnsig.org

    [6] Internet history - livinginternet.com

    4. Author's Addresses

    Vint Cerf
    former Chairman and President, Internet Society
    January 2002

    Sr. Vice President, Internet Architecture and Technology
    WorldCom
    22001 Loudoun County Parkway, F2-4115
    Ashburn, VA 20147

    EMail: vinton.g.cerf@wcom.com

    Cerf Informational [Page 5]

    RFC 3271 The Internet is for Everyone April 2002

    5. Full Copyright Statement

    Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002). All Rights Reserved.

    This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
    others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
    or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
    and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
    kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
    included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this
    document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
    the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
    Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
    developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
    copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
    followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
    English.

    The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
    revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

    This document and the information contained herein is provided on an
    "AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
    TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING
    BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION
    HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
    MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

    Acknowledgement

    Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
    Internet Society.

    Cerf Informational [Page 6]

  • 'Mirror' (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:29AM (#3420940) Homepage
    Working link to RFC 3271 [networksorcery.com]. (Since the original seems Slashdotted.)
  • Re:1000 million? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dredd13 (14750) <dredd@megacity.org> on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:32AM (#3420953) Homepage
    Because .US definition of "billion" and .UK definition of "billion" are not the same. When clarity is key (as it would be in an RFC) ambiguous words like "Billion" get laid by the wayside.
  • Free as in Speech (Score:4, Informative)

    by Thenomain (537937) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:35AM (#3420963) Homepage

    I'm not sure I agree with the gushing optimism of this guy. For instance, from the article:

    The Internet is proving to be one of the most powerful amplifiers of speech ever invented.

    While fundamentally, this is a good thing, it decreases the signal-to-noise ratio and makes it a) easier to hear only what you want and b) harder to find even that. This seems to imply that giving everyone in the world a bullhorn (and keep them from getting shot) is, in itself, a good thing.

    And then we turn around and complain about child porn and hate-groups on the internet. It's part of the same thing. I'm just leery of the positive-only spin this article has.

    Similarly: The Internet is becoming the repository of all we have accomplished as a society. ... But no mention on having to work through the garbage. While I have confidence that societies will eventually pick the most accurate history, I can't imagine it would be easy.

    I in no way think the article is wrong (I don't), just misleadingly in its enthusiasm.

    -Thenomain (NMI)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:43AM (#3420989)
    "The Internet is for everyone - but it won't be until in every home, in every business, in every school, in every library, in every hospital in every town and in every country on the Globe, the Internet can be accessed without limitation, at any time and in every language."
  • Re:1000 million? (Score:2, Informative)

    by joib (70841) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:51AM (#3421008)
    No. billion = 10^9 = 1000 million. Perhaps you mean a "gibi" [slashdot.org]. Or well, the prefix gibi means 2^30=1073741824... :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:53AM (#3421009)
    I once compiled IPv6 support in my Linux kernel. It choked my DSL bridge and I had to hard reset it to get it working again. The I got pissed off mail from my ISP accusing me from trying to DoS their gateway with "malformed packets" (??).

    No thanks. We'll stay with IPv4. You use the new thing. Just like it is with the imperial vs. metric unit systems.

  • by Pay The Fuck Up! (563397) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @12:40PM (#3421131) Homepage
    Read this:

    Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if legislation around the world creates a thicket of incompatible laws that hinder the growth of electronic commerce, stymie the protection of intellectual property, and stifle freedom of expression and the development of market economies.

    Even internet hero Vint Cerf agrees that we need strong protection for intellectual property! Surely now you must agree that mass piracy, sharing, and general abusive hacking is causing far more harm than good, and in fact preventing the internet from being for everyone.

    He's right. Those who use content should pay for it.

  • by alen (225700) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @12:48PM (#3421153)
    Someone has to pay the bandwith. There isn't a business in the world that can indefinetly provide you a free service and survive. If you want to post content, then either find a hosting service or pay someone for their bandwith costs.
  • Re:1000 million? (Score:2, Informative)

    by gidds (56397) <slashdot@@@gidds...me...uk> on Saturday April 27, 2002 @01:21PM (#3421239) Homepage
    Originally, yes. But the `US' 10^9 definition has been common usage here in the UK for the last couple of decades.
  • by Hellkitten (574820) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @02:42PM (#3421495)

    A lot of network hardware such as your DSL bridge is 'hardcoded' for ipv4 packets. this hardware needs to be replaced (or have a firmware update if you're lucky) before ipv6 can fly.

    On an ipv4 net ipv6 packets are not malformed. The hardware should simply have checked the version bits in the header and dropped the packets, but the people that made it probably didn't bother since there existed only ipv4 when they made it and they could save to transistors by not checking. So the fool at the ISP that told you that you could use ipv6 (you did call them didn't you) should have his fingers slapped.

    What you tried to do was pass ipv6 packets onto an ipv4 based network, you would have needed an ipv6 to ipv4 bridge (before your ipv4 to xDSL bridge)

    Anyway to get The Internet to support ipv6 a lot of the infrastructure has to be updated, I wouldn't expect to see that too soon. The 'killer app' we need to get ipv6 out may be streamed HIGH quality video (don't need cable when you have internet) that uses ipv6's priority value to get through.

    No thanks. We'll stay with IPv4. You use the new thing. Just like it is with the imperial vs. metric unit systems.

    So in a few years when we have got TV over the internet you will stick to your overpriced (you'll be the only customer remember) ipv4 connection, that makes your ipv4 packets get the lowest priority through the internet. Just because you tried the new stuff a little too early?

    And without ipv6 we won't get that huge address space that will give everyone and his dog (and the dog's fleas) their own unique IP address

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.

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