- In the
space of a few months the proliferation of 20-year anniversaries has provoked
a series of reflections on the past and musings on the future:
- 20 years
of the Italian Academic and Research Network GARR,
- 20 years
of the World Wide Web,
- 20 years
from the foundation of the Internet Society.
- The essay
available here, sixth in the series and first in the collection "The
Internet in Italy: archives and studies",
concerns the last of these anniversaries, ISOC's, but also aims to contribution
in some measure to the more general reflections. In gathering and organizing
the original sources and memoirs of key players, we have also tried to
provide non-technical readers with some understanding of how, as an "old
boy" of the first generation of Italian networking says on the cover
page: "… these last 20 years have changed
the world more than the last 20 centuries. And the fundamental factor in
this change has been Information and Communication Technologies ..."
Scientists do not interpret the world, they
"create universes", wrote a historian of ideas: in that created
universe which is the interconnection of networks, things "either
work or don't work".
- If from
reading this introduction the reader does not feel like navigating among
the essential maps of the Internet (and of its functional co-ordination,
ISOC), it means this essay "hasn't worked". If however it stays
within hand's reach for ease of consultation, on bedside tables or desktops
(the reports on the Italian Internet can naturally be read on paper and
online), this material will have served its purpose.
- The CNR
and INFN together participated in the foundation of the Internet Society
in 1992, and in the original project to enable synchronized technological
and civil evolution of automated information: neutral, without intermediaries,
without discrimination of access or content.
- With the
explosive transfer of the Internet from academia and research to the domain
of social networks, the market and the economy, the Internet Society changed
somewhat to include civil memberships and interdisciplinary skills.
- Many use
the net for work, others to share a guideline which is far from banal in
troubled times: "the Internet is for
- And especially
one, to honour the short intense life of the first individual member of
ISOC, Jon Postel, a man who loved freedom, freedom for all.
- The idea
for these reports grew from discussions between Abba and Trumpy with Frederic
Donck (ISOC Regional Bureau Director for Europe) and Jacek Gajewski (ISOC
Manager Chapter Development for Europe), in Rome in late 2011, on the contribution
of Italy to the forthcoming celebrations in Geneva, next April 2012.
- We would
like to include all contributors, who drew up the articles assigned in
short order, in the special thanks we wish to extend personally to our
friends who offered the "congratulations card" featured on the
covers: Capriz, Cerf, Degli Antoni, Kahn, Filippazzi and Meo.
group: Abba, Giunchi, Marino, Trumpy e Valente.