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Publisher’s Notes – The Future of the Internet

Over the last couple of days, I watched some ISOC (Internet Society) presentations.

One was the 2017 Hall of Fame Inductions, which was interesting, because it included a good bit of history. Some of the inductees were Alan Emtage, the fellow who developed Archie, the 1st Internet search engine, Ed Krol, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Internet, Craig Partridge, who designed the way email is routed using domain names and Ira Fuchs, co-founder of BitNet. Some history was shared around each of them and their accomplishments.

Another presentation was extremely interesting, too. It featured a four-person panel, moderated by Adnan Nawaz, with Paula Côrte Real, Alice Munyua, Dr. Leonard Kleinrock and Sally Wentworth. This session dealt with the launch of the Internet Society’s 2017 Global Internet Report, which, in part, focused upon “Drivers of Change” like:

  • The Internet and the Physical World
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cyber Threats
  • The Internet Economy
  • Networks, Standards & Interoperability
  • The Role of Government

The areas that seemed to spark the most impassioned discussion were AI, cyber-threats and the role of government. It’s well worth a watch – or a listen – as some interesting points were made.

Finally, I watched a session sponsored by the Geneva Lecture Series, which was focused on the concept of establishing a set of agreed-upon regulations for cyber-activities which can affect humans, in terms of their rights or well-being, as well as the sovereignty of nation-states. Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, gave an inspiring keynote address, in which he proposed a Digital Geneva Convention to forestall cyberwars by nation-states. He was accompanied by Ms. Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations and Mr. Phillip Spoerri, Permanent Observer and Head of Delegation to the United Nations, from the Int’l. Committee of the Red Cross.

If you’d like to read the policy paper, it’s available here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cybersecurity/content-hub/a-digital-geneva-convention-to-protect-cyberspace.

There’s some excellent food for thought in those last two presentations. I highly recommend them.

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