Vint Cerf of Google – who has been called the father of the Internet – submitted a letter for a congressional hearing on some proposed legislation.
His words are also relevant for the current debate over US/ICANN control over the Internet, vs. the desire for more control from outside North America, perhaps by the UN. No matter what the ultimate governance model is, it must focus on enabling the Internet, not controlling it, and can’t let bureaucracy get in the way.
He stated in part: The remarkable social impact and economic success of the Internet is in many ways directly attributable to the architectural characteristics that were part of its design. The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services. The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control. By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform for innovation. This has led to an explosion of offerings – from VOIP to 802.11x wi-fi to blogging – that might never have evolved had central control of the network been required by design