The Innovators nomination category recognizes individuals who made outstanding technological, commercial, or policy advances and helped to expand the Internet’s reach. The Internet Society honored Mitchell Baker, Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, Van Jacobson, Lawrence Landweber, Paul Mockapetris, Craig Newmark, Raymond Tomlinson, Linus Torvalds and Philip Zimmermann for their work advancing the global Internet.
Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web while at CERN. He wrote the first Web client and server in 1990 and created the initial specifications of URLs, HTTP and HTML. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and awarded the Order of Merit. Today he is a fellow of the Royal Society, director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and World Wide Web Foundation and a founding director of the Web Science Trust (WST).
Cailliau co-developed the proposal for a hypertext system for accessing documentation with Berners-Lee, eventually leading to the creation of the World Wide Web; produced the first Web browser for the Apple Macintosh in 1992; co-started “WISE,” the first Web-based project at the European Commission (DGXIII) with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft; co-founded the International WWW Conference Committee (IW3C2); and started the authentication scheme for the Web and supervised its implementation.
Jacobson created algorithms for the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) that helped solve network congestion and are used in over 90 percent of Internet hosts today. He also spearheaded achievements in network performance and scaling, which enabled the Internet to expand in size and support, thereby increasing speeds. In addition, he co-wrote many network diagnostic tools widely used by the Internet R&D community. He also helped lead the development of the Internet Multicast backbone (MBone) and popular Internet audio and video conferencing tools (vic, vat, wb) that laid the groundwork and defined the standards for current Internet voice over IP (VOIP) and multimedia applications.
Landweber is a leader in the development of the international Internet. He helped establish the first network gateways between the United States and countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. He also led the establishment of the CSNET (Computer Science Network) project that by 1984 connected more than 180 university, industrial and government computer science departments.
Mockapetris Invented the Domain Name System (DNS) in 1983, which created easily identifiable names for IP addresses, making the Internet far more accessible for everyday use. He is chief scientist and chairman of the board at Nominum Inc., where his mission is to shepherd DNS and IP addressing to the next stage.
Tomlinson invented network electronic mail, choosing the “@” sign in emails to connect the user name with the destination address through his widely distributed email software SNDMSG. He co-authored the first standard RFC-561 for Internet email message formats, which defined several of the email fields we still use today (e.g., from, subject and date). He also led the development of the first email standards and the required services in network electronic mail.
The Global Connectors category recognizes individuals from around the world who have made significant contributions to the global growth and use of the Internet. The Internet Society honored Randy Bush, Kilnam Chon, Al Gore, Nancy Hafkin, Geoff Huston, Brewster Kahle, Daniel Karrenberg, Toru Takahashi and Tan Tin Wee for their work advancing the global Internet.
Heavily involved in transferring Internet technologies and connecting developing economies for almost 25 years, Bush is the founder of the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC). Over the past 20 years, the NSRC has worked with governmental/nongovernment organizations, academics, Internet service providers and industry to help indigenous network engineers and operators develop and maintain networks and cyber-infrastructure by providing technical information, engineering assistance, training, donation of books, equipment and other resources in Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean and the Middle East.
Gore, the 45th vice president of the United States, was a key proponent of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet, also known as the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, which led to the National Information Infrastructure. Instrumental in helping to create the “Information Superhighway,” Gore was one of the first government officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to fuel educational and economic growth.
Working for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Hafkin has been working to promote information and communications technology in Africa and other developing areas, with particular emphasis on gender, for more than 30 years. As a result of her efforts, Hafkin was instrumental in the spread of networking and electronic communication in Africa, including email, in the early 1990s.
Credited with playing a critical role in bringing the Internet to Australia in the 1990s, Huston began work at the Australian Vice Chancellor’s Committee in 1989 with the direction to build a national academic and research network. In just over one year, every Australian university and major research institution was connected to the country’s first ISP, the Australian Academic and Research Network. The project quickly expanded to support the entire national Internet sector, and within five years, the network became Australia’s largest private data network. Huston is currently the chief scientist at APNIC, the Regional Internet Registry serving the Asia-Pacific region.
Kahle is founder and director of the Internet Archive, a free digital library that archives World Wide Web documents and makes them universally accessible. Chronicling more than 85 billion pieces of deep Web geology (on his Wayback Machine you can view pages as they actually appeared in Web antiquity), Kahle has created a veritable history of the Internet’s formation, and through his work on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Board of Directors, he has been instrumental in helping keep such information free and reachable. Brewster also invented the first Internet publishing system, and helped put newspapers and publishers online in the 1990s.
In the 1980s, Karrenberg began paving the way to connect people to the Internet in Europe when he helped build EUnet, the first pan-European Internet Service Provider (ISP). In 1989, Daniel was one of the founders of RIPE (RÃ©seaux IP EuropÃ©ens), the key collaborative forum in Europe for Internet coordination. In the 1990s, Daniel led the formation of the world’s first Regional Internet Registry, the RIPE Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC), serving Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Africa and Central Asia.
21Tan Tin Wee
Tan, known as one of the earliest pioneers of the Internet in Singapore and for the life sciences community, founded the multilingual Internet Domain Name System and has been instrumental in its internationalization. Over the past two decades, he has contributed to the advancement of the computational biology and bioinformatics through the application of Internet technologies; popularized numerous Internet technologies in Asia from WAIS, Gopher, WWW to Java applets, VRML and CUSeeMe. In addition, he introduced Internet access for research and education and in communities with disabilities and is a leader of the advanced high-performance Internet in Asia.
The inaugural class of The Internet Hall of Fame represents some of the greatest minds and achievers behind the complex ecosystem that is the Modern Internet. Their accomplishments have helped build a tool and resource used by billions around the globe. The Hall of Fame is part of the Internet Society’s 20-year celebration. For more information on the Internet Society or the Internet Hall of Fame, visit www.internetsociety.org.