• Gianfranco Capriz
  • Vint Cerf
  • Gianni Degli Antoni
  • Franco Filippazzi
  • Bob Kahn
  • Joy Marino
  • Angelo Raffaele Meo
  • Stefano Trumpy
  • Enzo Valente
  • Gianfranco Capriz
  • Vint Cerf
  • Gianni Degli Antoni
  • Franco Filippazzi
  • Bob Kahn
  • Joy Marino
  • Angelo Raffaele Meo
  • Stefano Trumpy
  • Enzo Valente



Gianfranco Capriz

  • Internet-wise I am a Neandertaler, a specimen of the extinct breed of professors of an established discipline, who, over half a century ago, forecasted that computers would change scientific endeavours, if not the world, and, criticized right and left, abetted the strangely evolved Cro-Magnon enthusiastic hominids working on the new machinery, indifferent to academic careers.
  • To prove my addiction, Internet-wise, I can quote a visit at Arlington, more than thirty years ago, to Bob Kahn, in his ARPA office, in an attempt (welcomed by Bob but failed then because of Italian academic meanness) to insure a connection of the Institute CNUCE to ARPANET via the mighty but rarely used transatlantic cable serving the seismic net installed along all of Norway to monitor soviet atomic tests.
  • The connection was assured otherwise years later, so the effort was not fully in vain. As I mentioned Paleolithic eras , but contrariwise am conscious of telematic speeds (silica still involved) , the good wish I express is that Internet becomes the noosphere toward which Teilhard de Chardin imagined the world would finally evolve.


  • The Internet Society was founded, in part, in the believe that a society would emerge from the spread of access to the Internet. In this, we have not been disappointed.
  • Our friends in Italy grasped this concept early and participated in the evolution of the Packet Satellite network that formed one of the three networks that made up the prototype Internet in the 1980s.
  • As participants in the early stages of the Internet Society, the Italian technical community helped to shape the Internet and the Internet Society, as it continues to do, today.


  • The Internet exists!
  • People speak about it, judge it, promote it; others criticize it.
  • Then there are those who want to regulate it. Why?
  • To limit the freedom to communicate!
  • In the labyrinth of the Internet you can find everything and anything: truth and contradictions; and use that some considers illegal.
  • Outside the labyrinth.
  • Those who write the laws know full well how to break them.
  • "The Internet is for everyone".
  • Everyone's right to freedom judged by everyone.
  • Not delegated to others ...
  • The "Internet Society"!


  • The SATNET became one of the three initial networks in the then nascent Internet.
  • Prior to this, there was a single point-to-point connection at lower speed between the ARPANET in the US and an ARPANET node in Norway.
  • A 9.6 Kbps line was connected between the node in Norway and another ARPANET node in London.
  • Germany and Italy were the fourth and fifth participants in the project.
  • CNUCE in Pisa was the lead participant in Italy.


  • Amongst the many reflections that spring to mind on the anniversary of the Internet Society, one is the relativity of the concept of time.
  • Twenty years is just a jot in the story of humanity, but these last 20 years have changed the world more than many past centuries.
  • And the fundamental factor in this change has been Information and Communication Technologies. What changes will take place in the next twenty years as a result of ICT? Certainly they will be many and major.
  • But making prediction is difficult - as G.B.Shaw said - especially predictions about the future.


  • Whatever the Internet is… I must confess that after 20-25 years of daily use, I still can't sum it up in a few words. It is communication: breaking all barriers of space (it is everywhere), time (from one-to-one instantaneously to one-to-many in deferred time, plus communication with the past and future enabled by digitization of archived material), and of wealth (because the unit cost is infinitesimal and decreasing).
  • Communication has become the mirror of our humanity, expressing all our finer qualities and all our warts too: solidarity, altruism, the ability to socialize, to lie or to prevaricate, the desire to share and the temptation to possess and exclude, open-source "giving" the drive to donate and the mania for buying and selling.
  • So it came to pass that starting out as "Internet plumbers", a profession I am proud to belong to, we have had to learn sociology, marketing, ethics, finance, governance and many other disciplines, without forgetting the changes brought about in us by the mere fact of being able to interact - freed from distance, time and cost - with two billion people.
  • I could stop there, except meanwhile "the machines have started talking to one another", opening up horizons worthy of Von Neumann, or even Asimov or Gibson.
  • We have created a complex living organism, which like all life forms is evolving continuously.


  • When I begin lessons with my students about the Internet, I think of that passage in the gospel according to John, where he describes the "Miraculous catch" or maybe better the "Miraculous net": "Simon Peter pulled the net to shore, filled with 153 great fish, and though there were so many, the net did not break".
  • The net that brought the second millennium to a close brought about not one, but 3 miracles.
  • The first was technological: two billion fish: there was a time - some of us can remember - when getting 153 hosts to communicate was quite a task.
  • The second was the socio-economic miracle represented by a "miraculous" product that defied the dogmas of competition and market.
  • The third was the net itself. It will soon become obvious that the Internet is the most important invention of all time; never before has man had a tool so powerful and effective for sharing and expanding knowledge.
  • Today the Demon, incarnated as the captains of industry and the gurus of hyper-liberal economics, wants to destroy the miracle in the name of an ancient dogma: "Privatize, privatize, privatize".
  • In the face of such a threat, all we can say to the Internet is: "Resist, Resist, Resist".


  • This major anniversary makes me realize the amazing impact that technological innovation has had and will have on human society.
  • The Internet grew out of research networks, as a tool to improve efficiency, international collaboration and cooperation among researchers. Today the Internet, the means by which all networks are joined, is one of the most powerful symbols of modern civilization and the engine of the Information Society.
  • So important and omnipresent is the Internet that Internet governance was set up, dealing with technological issues, including legal and regulatory questions, economic aspects, the impact on modern society and the daily life of individuals.
  • The Internet as a tool for a new humanism? I'd like to think so… and every day I am more and more amazed at what it can do.


  • The Internet is a discovery, not an invention.
  • It is like fire: once it is discovered, you can no longer say it doesn't exist. Nor can anyone tell you to put it out.
  • Prometheus belonged to the world of scientific research, as his name ("forethinker") tell us, he thought and reasoned about what he observed.
  • And Zeus, who had the power at the time, tried to inflict the harshest punishment on him, but he couldn't prevent men from benefitting from Prometheus' discoveries.
  • But, like fire, the Internet must be controlled. Controlled by those who use it.
  • The Internet must be for all and all must become its vestals and Research Retwork continue its watch dog function.
Happy Birthday ISOC