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Re: NSF and the Birth of the Internet
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 19:20:17 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: dewayne () warpspeed com (Dewayne Hendricks)
Date: August 18, 2008 4:17:03 PM EDT
To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <xyzzy () warpspeed com>
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] re: NSF and the Birth of the Internet

[Note:  This comment comes from friend Steve Goldstein.  DLH]

From: Steve Goldstein <steve.goldstein () cox net>
Date: August 18, 2008 12:15:01 PM PDT
To: dewayne () warpspeed com (Dewayne Hendricks)
Subject: Re: [Dewayne-Net] NSF and the Birth of the Internet

All this somewhat overblown chest-thumping does not make up for the way that NSF and the USA in general dropped the ball starting in the late 1990's with regard to leadership in the Internet, or rather the academic and research Internet. I speak as one who was there (at NSF) and part of the early withdrawal from leadership, and then a rueful on- looker in the early years of this millennium as the NSF went AWOL. They have been trying to play some catch-up ball, but with too little money and a dearth of solid and original thought. Compared to Canada, the Netherlands, Japan and Korea (and maybe a few other countries of which I am unaware), NSF and the US are pikers putting on a big front.

BTW, my job at NSF in the 1990's was, essentially, to spread Internet, and then advanced Inernet around the world. I have not found any reference to STAR TAP or Starlight or the Internet Connections Manager Project (yet another ICMP!) in that video. And, the some of the talking heads (e.g., Karen) just do not really understand what they are talking about. For example, running domain name registration into the Mosaic browser support. And, the domain name registration was originally run under DARPA (or was it ARPA then?) supervision (contracting?) and not by NSF. NSF took it over after DARPA decided that the Internet had grown to the point that it was beyond their remit to handle. And, then we handed it over to the Department of Commerce, which led, eventually, to the formation of ICANN to coordinate globally (disclosure: I am now about halfway through my three-year term on the ICANN Board). But, in the exuberance of chest- thumping, and the others' roles seem to be overlooked or at least short-changed.

Just my humble opinion, by the way.

--Steve, the curmudgeon
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