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ISOC India Chennai Chapter

September 18th, 2008 · No Comments

Our 53rd ambassador, Sivasubramanian Muthusamy of India, is currently giving shape to Turiya, a startup building desktop, mobile PCs and access devices for the Solaris operating system. He also volunteers as President of ISOC India Chennai, and has been a volunteer handling the Stories task for One Web Day. He takes an active part in the Internet Governance Civil Society Caucus with an interest in the Internet Governance process.  He can be reached at isloatedn at gmail dot com.

Two computers, a SDS Sigma 7 at UCLA and a SDS 940 at Stanford were connected on Oct 29, 1969 by the pioneers including Vint Cerf, the Father of Internet.

record of the first message sent over ARPANET

At the UCLA end, they typed in the ‘L’ and asked Stanford if they received it; ‘got the L’ came the voice reply. UCLA typed in the ‘o’, asked if they got it, and received ‘got the o’. UCLA then typed in the ‘g’ and the darned system CRASHED! Quite a beginning.

An estimated 1.3 billion people are already on the Internet and the world is talking about the next billion(s) – (until recently the discussions were about providing access to the next billion users, but of late, it is billion with an ’s’ as discussed in the MAG discussion on Internet Governance Forum at Geneva this week .

The Internet is unlike any other invention the world has seen. It has emerged to be what it is, not funded by any single Government, nor by any one business corporation. The Internet has grown to be what it is, not only due to the protocols and technologies that have been developing due to participative efforts, but to various developments of related technologies the world over. Technologies in Computer hardware, software, gateway and routing equipment, transfer infrastructure technologies such as telephone, mobile, satellite, technologies in user interface design combined together to make the Internet what it is.

The Internet has transformed the way the world progressed, has transformed the way we live. The Internet has emerged to be transcontinental, soon to be inter-stellar, has already reduced the distance between places half way across the globe to zero. People are connected in the Internet Model founded upon the spirit of openness and freedom that characterizes the Internet.

The Internet is not the computers, it is not the hardware in between, it is not the wires, the Internet is not the technology, but the users. The Internet is all about people networking with people.

  1. The internet evolved by everyone’s participation, for participation by everyone.

  2. The Internet Standards have emerged by open collaboration and participation on a community model, across national boundaries.

  3. This global social space that works on community participation, has its own conventions, culture and ethos, unwritten rules – all without a hierarchy of authority, with an inherent order.

  4. The Internet is accessible worldwide. The Internet transcends the boundaries of nations

  5. The Internet has evolved as a medium neutral of technology, nationhood, language, religion or race.

  6. The Internet has emerged as an open medium for freedom of speech even in geographical regions where freedom of expression is restrained. The Internet provides space for everyone to have an identity, to store and exchange information.

  7. The Internet brings together people from around the world and has been considerably free of politics. Internet is a space without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth

  8. The legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context on the Internet are peculiar to the Internet and differs from that of the geographical world.

These fundamental characteristics of the Internet needs to be preserved. Internet is what it is due to these characteristics.

One Web Day is an initiative by Susan Crawford to celbrerate Sep 22 every year as One Web Day, the Earth Day for Internet.

photo from CERN’s LHC home page

The Internet is in the process of making a huge technical leap, with the scientific possibility of moving from speeds of 512 kbps to Gigabps data transfer speeds which are already achieved in experiments related to CERN’s Large Hadron Collider which was activated on Sep 10, 2008.

There are several other positive developments. A Google funded Start Up, o3b is planning to reach the next 3 billion users through Satellite. Newer and more interesting web applications are helping users discover newer ways of making use of the Internet. Internet is going to be even more global and hundreds of times better.

It is at this point of time that the process of Internet Governance is being debated at the Internet Governance Forum, the third one in the series to be held at Hyderabad, India in December this year.

The stakeholders to the process are Government, Business and the Civil Society. A model of Governance that preserves the spirit of Internet can only emerge if each of the stakeholders concede part of their stakes, in their own interest to contribute to the process of further evolution of the Internet

One Web Day , while celebrating the Web, brings together the Internet users from around the world and could be a forum to reaffirm the user-centricity and other fundamental characteristics of the Internet in its important phase of a giant leap forward.

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