Vint Cerf: An Internet For And By The People
There are very few people in the world who can claim to be the inventor of the internet, and Vint Cerf just happens to be one of those people.
On March 12, he made his very first appearance at the SXSW conference with his panel, Vint Cerf: An Internet For And By The People.
During his graduate studies at ULCA in the 1970s, Cerf helped create the ARPANET, the internet’s predecessor, by developing the TCP/IP protocols that are still in use today.
Eventually, the military became interested in using the computer network. The military wanted to connect bases, planes and all sorts of hardware together.
Cerf said the underlying issue at this point was the fact that the ARPANET was completely networked over phone lines.
He then went on to assist in developing satellite and radio communication methods to network these computers.
Fast forward to today, and Cerf is still trying to spread the internet. He is the Chief Internet Evangelist at Google and Founder of the People-Centered Internet.
He’s currently working on a project in Tunisia called TAWASOL. Certain countries with authoritarian governments have been enemies of the internet, and in those countries, citizens often may only have access to locked down forms of the internet. Tunisia, on the other hand, has been very welcoming to the internet.
Cerf said that in developing nations, there may be insufficient infrastructure for a stable internet. In some cases, power outages could easily effect access. He believed that investment in these countries would eventually alleviate this problem.
Cerf also discussed the issues surrounding privacy online. Initially he described how people in small communities, like tribes, had less privacy. However, in our modern world with large cities, people feel anonymous because they may only know a few people in the entire city.
Cerf said that anonymity and privacy are not the same thing.
He highlighted how many pictures of him were taken today, although in most cases, people asked for permission.
Cerf said this was a change in social methods and structure to accommodate for these types of situations.
At the end of his panel, Cerf was incredibly accommodating, allowing his fans to take photos with him. Don’t hesitate to follow Vint Cerf on Twitter.