on 1 Oct 2000 11:46:24 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Al Gore and the Internet

Join Al Gore in the Al dant(e - o - ec) exhibition of the informative
Arts Art Foundation

-/ welcome to a plining world ! /-

"vinton g. cerf" a *crit :
> [Originally To: Declan McCullaugh <>,
> Cc:]
> Dave and Declan,
> I am taking the liberty of sending to you both a brief summary of Al
> Gore's Internet involvement, prepared by Bob Kahn and me. As you know,
> there have been a seemingly unending series of jokes chiding the vice
> president for his assertion that he "took the initiative in creating the
> Internet."
> Bob and I believe that the vice president deserves significant credit for
> his early recognition of the importance of what has become the Internet.
> I thought you might find this short summary of sufficient interest to
> share it with Politech and the IP lists, respectively.
> ==============================================================
> Al Gore and the Internet
> By Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf
> Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the
> Internet and to promote and support its development.
> No one person or even small group of persons exclusively "invented" the
> Internet. It is the result of many years of ongoing collaboration among
> people in government and the university community.  But as the two people
> who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the
> Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore's contributions as a
> Congressman, Senator and as Vice President.  No other elected official, to
> our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of
> time.
> Last year the Vice President made a straightforward statement on his role.
> He said: "During my service in the United States Congress I took the
> initiative in creating the Internet."  We don't think, as some people have
> argued, that Gore intended to claim he "invented" the Internet. Moreover,
> there is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore's
> initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving
> Internet. The fact of the matter is that Gore was talking about and
> promoting the Internet long before most people were listening.  We feel it
> is timely to offer our perspective.
> As far back as the 1970s Congressman Gore promoted the idea of high speed
> telecommunications as an engine for both economic growth and the
> improvement of our educational system. He was the first elected official
> to grasp the potential of computer communications to have a broader impact
> than just improving the conduct of science and scholarship. Though easily
> forgotten, now, at the time this was an unproven and controversial
> concept. Our work on the Internet started in 1973 and was based on even
> earlier work that took place in the mid-late 1960s. But the Internet, as
> we know it today, was not deployed until 1983. When the Internet was still
> in the early stages of its deployment, Congressman Gore provided
> intellectual leadership by helping create the vision of the potential
> benefits of high speed computing and communication.  As an example, he
> sponsored hearings on how advanced technologies might be put to use in
> areas like coordinating the response of government agencies to natural
> disasters and other crises.
> As a Senator in the 1980s Gore urged government agencies to consolidate
> what at the time were several dozen different and unconnected networks
> into an "Interagency Network." Working in a bi-partisan manner with
> officials in Ronald Reagan and George Bush's administrations, Gore secured
> the passage of the High Performance Computing and Communications Act in
> 1991.  This "Gore Act" supported the National Research and Education
> Network (NREN) initiative that became one of the major vehicles for the
> spread of the Internet beyond the field of computer science.
> As Vice President Gore promoted building the Internet both up and out, as
> well as releasing the Internet from the control of the government agencies
> that spawned it.  He served as the major administration proponent for
> continued investment in advanced computing and networking and private
> sector initiatives such as Net Day. He was and is a strong proponent of
> extending access to the network to schools and libraries. Today,
> approximately 95% of our nation's schools are on the Internet. Gore
> provided much-needed political support for the speedy privatization of the
> Internet when the time arrived for it to become a commercially-driven
> operation.
> There are many factors that have contributed to the Internet's rapid
> growth since the later 1980s, not the least of which has been political
> support for its privatization and continued support for research in
> advanced networking technology.  No one in public life has been more
> intellectually engaged in helping to create the climate for a thriving
> Internet than the Vice President.  Gore has been a clear champion of this
> effort, both in the councils of government and with the public at large.
> The Vice President deserves credit for his early recognition of the value
> of high speed computing and communication and for his long-term and
> consistent articulation of the potential value of the Internet to American
> citizens and industry and, indeed, to the rest of the world.
> Version 1.2
> Word count: 709
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> 5-8 June 2001
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> Stockholm, Sweden
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