Thursday, May 05, 2005

Gore credited for internet

John sends this Newsday article:
NEW YORK -- Al Gore may have been lampooned for taking credit in the Internet's development, but organizers of the Webby Awards for online achievements don't find it funny at all.

In part to "set the record straight," they will give Gore a lifetime achievement award for three decades of contributions to the Internet, said Tiffany Shlain, the awards' founder and chairwoman. ...

Gore, who boasted in a CNN interview he "took the initiative in creating the Internet," was only 21 when the Internet was born out of a Pentagon project.

But after joining Congress eight years later, he promoted high-speed telecommunications for economic growth and supported funding increases for the then-fledging network, according to the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which presents the annual awards.

He popularized the term "information superhighway" as vice president.
Until today, Snopes said:
many of the components of today's Internet came into being well before Gore's first term in Congress began in 1977, and it's hard to find any specific action of Gore's (such as his sponsoring a Congressional bill or championing a particular piece of legislation) that one could claim helped bring the Internet into being, much less validate Gore's statement of having taken the "initiative in creating the Internet. ... Even if Al Gore had never entered the political arena, we'd probably still be reading web pages via the Internet today.
What isn't said is how much Gore did to restrict the free and secure flow of information on the internet. He supported crypto export controls that limited the utility of SSL, and he supported govt key escrow plans. I think that the internet would have been better off without him.

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