The Internet: On its International Origins and Collaborative Vision a work In-Progress




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Computer Systems, Darmstadt (1974). Lloyd, D and PT Kirstein: "Alternative

Approaches to the Interconnection of Computer Networks", London, Proc



European Comp. Conf. on Communications Networks, London, Online, 499-515 (1975))
Kirstein continues:
This was not an Internet design; this was connections at an application

level, and hence not very rugged. However, this mechanism continued

for the next 15 years, while the British NREN became quite sophisticated,

including packet switching, their version of the Domain Name Service

(Name Registration Scheme), FTP, Telnet, mail, etc. By 1990, while the

links to the Internet had long gone IP, the hosts on the British networks

were running a totally different set of protocols. While history (and

the analysis we made at the time) showed this was not the best, rugged

or fast way to go, it allowed both interconnectivity and independent

development of protocol structures to co-exist until all the bugs had been

resolved in the Internet protocols, and also commercial products to be

produced by new firms such as Cisco." (Kirstein, Email, Oct 3, 2002)


(16) The Brighton INWG meeting took place just after the NATO Advanced Institute. Though the original protocol was called TCP, it later was split into two parts and from then on called TCP/IP. When the paper describing the philosophy and design for TCP was officially published in May, 1974, the authors, Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, wrote:

“The authors wish to thank a number of colleagues for helpful comments during early discussions of international network protocols especially R. Metcalfe, R. Scantlebury, D. Walden, H. Zimmerman. D. Davies and L. Pouzin who constructively

commented on the fragmentation and accounting issues, and S. Crocker who

commented on the creative destruction of associations."(p 643) (See also, Ronda

Hauben, "A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication", in The Encyclopedia of Computers and Computer History. Raul Rojas, Editor, Fitzroy Dearborn, Chicago, 2001, vol 2, pp. 652-653.)

16a)Describing the process of creating a protocol specification, or Request for Comment (RFC), Mills writes, “One of the principal drivers in the standardization effort was the published TCP and IP standards, which were issues both as RFCs and Military Specifications (MILSPEC). Bob considered this a major coup. Later, DoD policy saluted COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) and told the agencies to avoid MILSPEC. Nobody at the time happened to notice that TCP and IP were MILSPECs.


There is a lot more to the formal specification issues. The RFCs were designed principally as instructions to system programmers on how to implement the protocol and as such should not be considered formal standard specifications. Later at great expense and contractor involvement (SDC) a formal specification was in fact prepared. I was consultant on that project, which did in fact do the right thing. So far

as I know, the document is rusting in a dark place.” (Mills, Email, April 28, 2003)


(17) Remembering the meeting in Brighton, UK in September 1973, Lundh writes that he first met Dag Belsnes at it. Lundh writes that "it was clear to me then that Dag knew much more than I did about protocol details."
Describing his introduction to networking research, Belsnes writes that he had "started working with data communication in 1970 at the University of Oslo. The university was (connected) by a CDC Cyber computer together with some other research institutions (among them, the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, where Yngvar was working) and the computer was to be located about 25 km away from the university campus. I headed a team," he writes, "that implemented a network system to connect this remote (system-ed) at the university (a CDC 3300, Nord computer (a mini-computer of the Norwegian company Norsk Data) and later a DEC 10.) The design of the local

university network was highly influenced by what we could read about ARPA and Cyclades networks." (Belsnes, Email, June 17, 2002) Explaining Belsnes’ contribution, Cerf writes: "Actually Dag worked out the need for a 5-way handshake to assure that old duplicate packets would not be confused for new ones. We concluded this was too much

overhead and chose a three way handshake with a timeout mechanism to 'clear the net' of old packets from a given connection. I considered Dag's work to provide a very solid ground for the TCP - as did Ray Tomlinson, Yogen Dalal who worked on the 3-way version and Carl Sunshine who did correctness proofs for this version." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
Also Kuninobu Tanno (from Tohoku University) from Japan was part of the Stanford seminars Cerf held to explore "how to get host computers to communicate across multiple packet networks without knowing the network technology underneath." (Cerf, "How the Internet Came to Be")
(18) See the diagram from the "Uses of the ARPA Network via the University College London Node" by Peter T Kirstein and Sylvia B. Kenny, IIASA Conference on Networks, Laxenburg, Austria, 1975, p. 54 Lundh calls Kjeller "the little townlet where some research establishments reside, some 20 km NE of OSLO."
Cerf explains that the TIPs were just part of the ARPANET "we did not yet have gateways/routers running IP." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
(19) Lundh also writes:
"Later, I believe, around 1981-82 when I could no longer get even the small support needed at NDRE, Paal left NDRE (with my blessings) and took the equipment with him to the neighboring institute ("TF"), the research establishment of the Norwegian Telecom Administration. They are located at Kjeller also, just across the street from NDRE and next to NORSAR. Paal was alone there being interested in Internetworking. NTA did not believe in the Internet until about 1995 -- similarly to most telecom operators....I think only one person at TF gave Paal some help during those years. Going back some years again, a few months after Paal joined me he also got another friend of his (Aage Stensby) over from his old group at NDRE, having become 'similarly

superfluous' there. However, Paal was the main contributor without any doubt. Later on I was able to recruit a few more people to the networking effort....The most active ones were Oyvind Hvinden and Finn Arve Aagesen. Both (were) very good people....Finn Arve is an unusually able person and made a great contribution during the short time he was with us...." (Lundh, Email, June 12, 2002)


(20) Kirstein disagrees about the prohibition of commercial sites, though not of commercial traffic. He writes that the UCL connection was to the public telecom and consequently was accessible to both commercial and academic sites. There was broad usage of the network in the UK and hence there was much interest in it. As Kirstein explains, "A management committee, which included the British Post Office, had to approve all sites connected and their use. From the late '70s, applications included quasi-commercial usage where one site was a British contractor to a US Agency, and the other the US Agency or another such US contractor -- usually in relation to R & D projects. When requested by the US such usage was normally approved; we were only concerned that the experimental nature of the interconnection would not lead to any legal responsibilities to the user entities. In the UK we connected the TIP to the Public Telephone network immediately (by September 1973, and to the British

research networks (from late 1973)." (Kirstein, Email, October 8, 2002.) "I should add," he writes, that “the British Post Office was part of the management committee which was told all that we were doing. For this reason they tolerated activities they might otherwise have forbidden; they were clearly contrary to their monopoly." (Kirstein, Email, Oct. 3, 2002)


(21) Spilling continues:
"The control program therefore must be an integral part of the programs in the Host computers wishing to participate in internetwork connections. The device interconnecting the two networks is called a Gateway.... The Gateway is connected to the two networks. Net 1 and Net 2, in the same way as normal Host computers, and therefore looks like a Host to both networks. When Host 1 wishes to exchange data with Host 2, it forms an internet packet according to the TCP format and encloses it in the format required by Net 1, for communications in that network. This action...is called 'wrapping.' The internet packet is then transported to the

Gateway where it is unwrapped from the Net 1 format and is re-wrapped in the format for Net 2 for transmission across the net to Host 2. This process can easily be extended through an arbitrary number of networks and gateways. This form of data exchange between Host 1 and Host 2 looks to all intermediate networks like normal host-host

communications, thus the local networks are not aware of any internetwork

activities. This is taken care of by the TCP's in Host 1 and Host 2 and by the Gateway."(Spilling, Proposal to Nato, pg 5)


Cerf explains the process using the term "encapsulation":
"We adopted very early the idea of encapsulating IP packets in the packets of

connected networks - the gateways would remove the IP packets from the

carrying packet format and re-encapsulated it in the next networks packet

structure. Of course, before we split IP from TCP, it was just TCP packets

that were encapsulated." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
(22) See Spilling, "Final Report," for a description of how the SATNET program was initially developed using the ARPANET and gradually separated apart from the ARPANET. The SIMPs were the Satellite IMPs created for interfaces for SATNET. He writes:
"The purpose of the Packet Satellite Program is to develop a general-purpose satellite network based upon the packet-switching principles... In order to utilize as much as possible the facilities available in ARPANET, the initial satellite network was an integral part of ARPANET.... During the program period, the SIMPs were developed to a stage where they could be separated from the ARPANET, so that the SIMP programs could be optimised for the satellite environment.... As mentioned, the SIMPs initially were logically a part of ARPANET and therefore had to obey the ARPANET IMP-IMP protocol. This was done in order to utilize the ARPANET techniques in

maintaining and controlling the satellite part of the network from the Network Control Center (NCC) at BBN. Gradually the SIMP programs were evolved to such a level that SATNET could be separated from ARPANET, and its operation fine tuned to the satellite environment. The separation made it necessary to develop an interface both for host

access to SATNET and for access to and from other nets...."
(23) See list of the PSPWG notes in Spilling, “Final Report”.

(24) Kirstein writes, "Certainly by 1979, the SATNET project as a development project had been largely completed. There was a major meeting in Washington, with a session on SATNET. I know that UCL participated in it....At that meeting we used packet voice to present part of the proceedings from London in Washington. I am sure that

CNUCE (Pisa, Italy) and DFVLR (Munich, Germany) were well and truly aboard by them. Equally clearly the SATNET route had become an operational entity by around 1983, using TCP/IP. Shortly after that the academic parties in Italy and Germany dropped out. The Defence parts never played any important role in network development in

Germany, Italy or the UK. See also Kirstein, PT, et al. "SATNET Applications Activities", Proc. Nat. Telecom. Conf. Washington, 45.1.1-45.1.7(1979). (Kirstein, Email, October 3, 2002)


Cerf adds that "In fact, we formed a coordination board - the International

Coordination Board (ICB) that included NDRE, UCL, the German DFVLR and the Italian CNUCE as well as DARPA to coordinate the international efforts." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)


(25) In "The Internet- A Cuckoo in the Telecom Service Nest An Evolution in

Packet Switching" Spilling gives as an example of such a decision process --

the command and control processes of the Department of Defense.
(26) See Michael Hauben, "The Vision of Interactive Computing and the Future" and Ronda Hauben, "The Birth and Development of the ARPANET" in Netizens and Ronda Hauben, "Licklider" in Encyclopedia of Computers and Computer History. Often, in funding proposals, it seems that only computer resource sharing is referred to rather than human communication facilitated by computers. See for example Ronda Hauben, Chapter 1, in Cyberhypes(in German).
(27) ARPANET News, February 1974, Editorial, pp. 2-3.
(28) These statements of a vision for a communications system identified a goal for the development process and thus made it possible to evaluate whether the actual development makes progress toward this goal or not.
(29) Several articles provide an overview to document this international

collaborative research process. Such a process, was essential to develop both a prototype and then the Internet. See for example: Kahn, Robert E., "The Introduction of Packet Satellite Communications," in Proc NTC, November, 1979, pp. 45.1.1-45.1.6.


Lundh, Yngvar, "Yngvar Lundh: Computers and Communication – Early development of

Computing and Internet Technology - a Groundbreaking part of Technical History". ` in Telektronikk Vol 97 No 2/3 2001, pp. 3-19.


Paal Spilling, "Research Proposal presented to NATO, Scientific

Affairs Division by Norwegian Defence Research Establishment also on

behalf of University College London and Stanford University,

California concerning A Study of the Transmission Control Program, a

Novel Program for Internetwork Computer Communications." 2 December

1975, NDRE.


(30) Also the packet radio network (PRNET) program made important contributions to the creation of the Internet. See Kahn, Robert E., "The Organization of Computer Resources into a Packet Radio Network", IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol Com-25, No. 1, January 1977, pp. 169-178.
(31) Lessig writes, "The environment of the Internet is now changing. Features of the architecture -- both legal and technical that created this environment of free creativity are now being changed. They are being changed in ways that will reintroduce the very barriers that the Internet originally removed." (Lessig, p. 16)
(32) Considering the international collaborative process needed to develop "open architecture" as the foundation for the Internet, it is interesting that Lessig describes architecture as referring "to both the Internet's technical protocols (e.g. TCP/IP) and its entrenched structures of governance and social patterns of usage that themselves are not easily changeable, at least not without coordinated action by many parties." (from Lawrence Lessig and Paul Resnick, "Zoning Internet Speech," Michigan Law Review, 98 (1999):395, quoted as footnote 34 in Lawrence Lessig,


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The Internet: On its International Origins and Collaborative Vision a work In-Progress

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