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1957 USSR launches Sputnik, first artificial earth satellite. In response, US forms the Advanced Research Projects Agency – ARPA -, the following year, within the Department of Defense.
1961 Leonard Kleinrock, MIT: ‘Information Flow in Large Communication Nets’ – May 31 -. First paper on packet-switching – PS – theory.
1962 J.C.R. Licklider & W. Clark, MIT: ‘On-Line Man Computer Communication’ – August -. Galactic Network concept encompassing distributed social interactions.
1964 Paul Baran, RAND: ‘On Distributed Communications Networks’. Packet-switching networks; no single outage point.
1965 ARPA sponsors study on ‘cooperative network of time-sharing computers’. TX-2 at MIT Lincoln Lab and AN/FSQ-32 at System Development Corporation – Santa Monica, CA – are directly linked – without packet switches – via a dedicated 1200bps phone line; Digital Equipment Corporation – DEC – computer at ARPA later added to form ‘The Experimental Network’.
1966 Lawrence G. Roberts, MIT: ‘Towards a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared Computers’ – October -. First ARPANET plan
1967 ARPANET design discussions held by Larry Roberts at ARPA IPTO PI meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan – April -. ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles in Gatlinburg, Tennessee – October -. First design paper on ARPANET published by Larry Roberts: ‘Multiple Computer Networks and Intercomputer Communication.
  First meeting of the three independent packet network teams – RAND, NPL, ARPA -. National Physical Laboratory – NPL – in Middlesex, England develops NPL Data Network under Donald Watts Davies who coins the term packet. The NPL network, an experiment in packet-switching, used 768kbps lines.
1968 PS-network presented to the Advanced Research Projects Agency – ARPA –
  Request for quotation for ARPANET – 29 Jul – sent out in August; responses received in September
  University of California Los Angeles – UCLA – awarded Network Measurement Center contract in October
  Network Working Group – NWG -, headed by Steve Crocker, loosely organized to develop host level protocols for communication over the ARPANET. – :vgc: –
  Tymnet built as part of Tymshare service – :vgc: –
1969 Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc. – BBN – awarded Packet Switch contract to build Interface Message Processors – IMPs – in January
  US Senator Edward Kennedy sends a congratulatory telegram to BBN for its million-dollar ARPA contract to build the ‘Interfaith’ Message Processor, and thanking them for their ecumenical efforts
  ARPANET commissioned by DoD for research into networking
  Nodes are stood up as BBN builds each IMP [Honeywell DDP-516 mini computer with 12K of memory]; AT&T provides lines bundled to 50kbps
  Node 1: UCLA – 30 August, hooked up 2 September –
  Function: Network Measurement Center
  System,OS: SDS SIGMA 7, SEX
  Diagram of the first host to IMP connection
  Node 2: Stanford Research Institute – SRI – – 1 October –
  Network Information Center – NIC –
  Doug Engelbart’s project on ‘Augmentation of Human Intellect’
  Node 3: University of California Santa Barbara – UCSB – – 1 November –
  Culler-Fried Interactive Mathematics
  IBM 360/75, OS/MVT
  Node 4: University of Utah – December –
  DEC PDP-10, Tenex
  Diagram of the 4-node ARPAnet
  First Request for Comment – RFC -: ‘Host Software’ by Steve Crocker – 7 April –
  RFC 4: Network Timetable
  First packets sent by Charley Kline at UCLA as he tried logging into SRI. The first attempt resulted in the system crashing as the letter G of LOGIN was entered. – October 29 – [ Log entry ]
  Univ of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State Univ establish X.25-based Merit network for students, faculty, alumni – :sw1: –
1970 First publication of the original ARPANET Host-Host protocol: C.S. Carr, S. Crocker, V.G. Cerf, ‘HOST-HOST Communication Protocol in the ARPA Network,’ in AFIPS Proceedings of SJCC – :vgc: –
  First report on ARPANET at AFIPS: ‘Computer Network Development to Achieve Resource Sharing’ – March –
  ALOHAnet, the first packet radio network, developed by Norman Abramson, Univ of Hawaii, becomes operational – July – – :sk2: –
  connected to the ARPANET in 1972
  ARPANET hosts start using Network Control Protocol – NCP -, first host-to-host protocol
  First cross-country link installed by AT&T between UCLA and BBN at 56kbps. This line is later replaced by another between BBN and RAND. A second line is added between MIT and Utah
1971 15 nodes – 23 hosts -: UCLA, SRI, UCSB, Univ of Utah, BBN, MIT, RAND, SDC, Harvard, Lincoln Lab, Stanford, UIU- C -, CWRU, CMU, NASA/Ames
  BBN starts building IMPs using the cheaper Honeywell 316. IMPs however are limited to 4 host connections, and so BBN develops a terminal IMP – TIP – that supports up to 64 terminals – September –
  Ray Tomlinson of BBN invents email program to send messages across a distributed network. The original program was derived from two others: an intra-machine email program – SENDMSG – and an experimental file transfer program – CPYNET – – :amk:irh: –
  Project Gutenberg is started by Michael Hart with the purpose of making copyright-free works, including books, electronically available. The first text is the US Declaration of Independence – :dhr,msh: –
1972 Ray Tomlinson – BBN – modifies email program for ARPANET where it becomes a quick hit. The @ sign was chosen from the punctuation keys on Tomlinson’s Model 33 Teletype for its ‘at’ meaning – March –
  Larry Roberts writes first email management program – RD – to list, selectively read, file, forward, and respond to messages – July –
  International Conference on Computer Communications – ICCC – at the Washington D.C. Hilton with demonstration of ARPANET between 40 machines and the Terminal Interface Processor – TIP – organized by Bob Kahn. – October –
  First computer-to-computer chat takes place at UCLA, and is repeated during ICCC, as psychotic PARRY – at Stanford – discusses its problems with the Doctor – at BBN -.
  International Network Working Group – INWG – formed in October as a result of a meeting at ICCC identifying the need for a combined effort in advancing networking technologies. Vint Cerf appointed first Chair. By 1974, INWG became IFIP WG 6.1 – :vgc: –
  Louis Pouzin leads the French effort to build its own ARPANET – CYCLADES
  RFC 318: Telnet specification
1973 First international connections to the ARPANET: University College of London – England – via NORSAR – Norway –
  Bob Metcalfe’s Harvard PhD Thesis outlines idea for Ethernet. The concept was tested on Xerox PARC’s Alto computers, and the first Ethernet network called the Alto Aloha System – May – – :amk: –
  Bob Kahn poses Internet problem, starts Internetting research program at ARPA. Vinton Cerf sketches gateway architecture in March on back of envelope in a San Francisco hotel lobby – :vgc: –
  Cerf and Kahn present basic Internet ideas at INWG in September at Univ of Sussex, Brighton, UK – :vgc: –
  RFC 454: File Transfer specification
  Network Voice Protocol – NVP – specification – RFC 741 – and implementation enabling conference calls over ARPAnet. – :bb1: –
  SRI – NIC – begins publishing ARPANET News in March; number of ARPANET users estimated at 2,000
  ARPA study shows email composing 75% of all ARPANET traffic
  Christmas Day Lockup – Harvard IMP hardware problem leads it to broadcast zero-length hops to any ARPANET destination, causing all other IMPs to send their traffic to Harvard – 25 December –
  RFC 602: The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Care
1974 Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish ‘A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection’ which specified in detail the design of a Transmission Control Program – TCP -. [IEEE Trans Comm] – :amk: –
  BBN opens Telenet, the first public packet data service – a commercial version of ARPANET – – :sk2: –
1975 Operational management of Internet transferred to DCA – now DISA –
  First ARPANET mailing list, MsgGroup, is created by Steve Walker. Einar Stefferud soon took over as moderator as the list was not automated at first. A science fiction list, SF-Lovers, was to become the most popular unofficial list in the early days
  John Vittal develops MSG, the first all-inclusive email program providing replying, forwarding, and filing capabilities.
  Satellite links cross two oceans – to Hawaii and UK – as the first TCP tests are run over them by Stanford, BBN, and UCL
  Jargon File, by Raphael Finkel at SAIL, first released – :esr: –
  Shockwave Rider by John Brunner – :pds: –
1976 Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom sends out an email on 26 March from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment – RSRE – in Malvern
  UUCP – Unix-to-Unix CoPy – developed at AT&T Bell Labs and distributed with UNIX one year later.
  Multiprocessing Pluribus IMPs are deployed
1977 THEORYNET created by Larry Landweber at Univ of Wisconsin providing electronic mail to over 100 researchers in computer science – using a locally developed email system over TELENET –
  RFC 733: Mail specification
  Tymshare spins out Tymnet under pressure from TELENET. Both go on to develop X.25 protocol standard for virtual circuit style packet switching – :vgc: –
  First demonstration of ARPANET/SF Bay Packet Radio Net/Atlantic SATNET operation of Internet protocols with BBN-supplied gateways in July – :vgc: –
1978 TCP split into TCP and IP – March –
  Possibly the first commercial spam message is sent on 1 May by a DEC marketer advertising an upcoming presentation of its new DECSYSTEM-20 computers
1979 Meeting between Univ of Wisconsin, DARPA, National Science Foundation – NSF -, and computer scientists from many universities to establish a Computer Science Department research computer network – organized by Larry Landweber -.
  USENET established using UUCP between Duke and UNC by Tom Truscott, Jim Ellis, and Steve Bellovin. All original groups were under NET.* hierarchy.
  First MUD, MUD1, by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw at U of Essex
  ARPA establishes the Internet Configuration Control Board – ICCB –
  Packet Radio Network – PRNET – experiment starts with DARPA funding. Most communications take place between mobile vans. ARPANET connection via SRI.
  On April 12, Kevin MacKenzie emails the MsgGroup a suggestion of adding some emotion back into the dry text medium of email, such as – – for indicating a sentence was tongue-in-cheek. Though flamed by many at the time, emoticons became widely used after Scott Fahlman suggested the use of :- – and :–  in a CMU BBS on 19 September 1982
1980 ARPANET grinds to a complete halt on 27 October because of an accidentally-propagated status-message virus
  First C/30-based IMP at BBN
1981 BITNET, the ‘Because It’s Time NETwork’
  Started as a cooperative network at the City University of New York, with the first connection to Yale – :feg: –
  Original acronym stood for ‘There’ instead of ‘Time’ in reference to the free NJE protocols provided with the IBM systems
  Provides electronic mail and listserv servers to distribute information, as well as file transfers
  CSNET – Computer Science NETwork – built by a collaboration of computer scientists and Univ of Delaware, Purdue Univ, Univ of Wisconsin, RAND Corporation and BBN through seed money granted by NSF to provide networking services – especially email – to university scientists with no access to ARPANET. CSNET later becomes known as the Computer and Science Network. – :amk,lhl: –
  C/30 IMPs predominate the network; first C/30 TIP at SAC
  Minitel – Teletel – is deployed across France by France Telecom.
  True Names by Vernor Vinge – :pds: –
  RFC 801: NCP/TCP Transition Plan
1982 Norway leaves network to become an Internet connection via TCP/IP over SATNET; UCL does the same
  DCA and ARPA establish the Transmission Control Protocol – TCP – and Internet Protocol – IP -, as the protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, for ARPANET. – :vgc: –
  This leads to one of the first definitions of an ‘internet’ as a connected set of networks, specifically those using TCP/IP, and ‘Internet’ as connected TCP/IP internets.
  DoD declares TCP/IP suite to be standard for DoD – :vgc: –
  EUnet – European UNIX Network – is created by EUUG to provide email and USENET services. – :glg: –
  original connections between the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and UK
  Exterior Gateway Protocol – RFC 827 – specification. EGP is used for gateways between networks.
1983 Name server developed at Univ of Wisconsin, no longer requiring users to know the exact path to other systems
  Cutover from NCP to TCP/IP – 1 January –
  No more Honeywell or Pluribus IMPs; TIPs replaced by TACs – terminal access controller –
  Stuttgart and Korea get connected
  Movement Information Net – MINET – started early in the year in Europe, connected to Internet in Sept
  CSNET / ARPANET gateway put in place
  ARPANET split into ARPANET and MILNET; the latter became integrated with the Defense Data Network created the previous year. 68 of the 113 existing nodes went to MILNET
  Desktop workstations come into being, many with Berkeley UNIX – 4.2 BSD – which includes IP networking software – :mpc: –
  Networking needs switch from having a single, large time sharing computer connected to the Internet at each site, to instead connecting entire local networks
  Internet Activities Board – IAB – established, replacing ICCB
  EARN – European Academic and Research Network – established. Very similar to the way BITNET works with a gateway funded by IBM-Europe
  FidoNet developed by Tom Jennings
1984 Domain Name System – DNS – introduced
  Number of hosts breaks 1,000
  JUNET – Japan Unix Network – established using UUCP
  JANET – Joint Academic Network – established in the UK using the Coloured Book protocols; previously SERCnet
  Moderated newsgroups introduced on USENET – mod.* –
  Neuromancer by William Gibson
  Canada begins a one-year effort to network its universities. The NetNorth Network is connected to BITNET in Ithaca from Toronto – :kf1: –
  Kremvax message announcing USSR connectivity to USENET
1985 Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link – WELL – started
  Information Sciences Institute – ISI – at USC is given responsibility for DNS root management by DCA, and SRI for DNS NIC registrations is assigned on 15 March to become the first registered domain. Other firsts:,,,,,, – 24 Apr -; – 23 May -; – 24 may -; – June -;, .uk – July –
  100 years to the day of the last spike being driven on the cross-Canada railroad, the last Canadian university is connected to NetNorth in a one year effort to have coast-to-coast connectivity. – :kf1: –
  RFC 968: ‘Twas the Night Before Start-up
1986 NSFNET created – backbone speed of 56Kbps –
  NSF establishes 5 super-computing centers to provide high-computing power for all – JVNC@Princeton, PSC@Pittsburgh, SDSC@UCSD, NCSA@UIUC, Theory Center@Cornell -.
  This allows an explosion of connections, especially from universities.
  NSF-funded SDSCNET, JVNCNET, SURANET, and NYSERNET operational – :sw1: –
  Internet Engineering Task Force – IETF – and Internet Research Task Force – IRTF – comes into existence under the IAB. First IETF meeting held in January at Linkabit in San Diego
  The first Freenet – Cleveland – comes on-line 16 July under the auspices of the Society for Public Access Computing – SoPAC -. Later Freenet program management assumed by the National Public Telecomputing Network – NPTN – in 1989 – :sk2,rab: –
  Network News Transfer Protocol – NNTP – designed to enhance Usenet news performance over TCP/IP.
  Mail Exchanger – MX – records developed by Craig Partridge allow non-IP network hosts to have domain addresses.
  The first in a series of congestion collapses begin occurring in October. – :jtl: –
  The great USENET name change; moderated newsgroups changed in 1987.
  BARRNET – Bay Area Regional Research Network – established using high speed links. Operational in 1987.
  New England gets cut off from the Net as AT&T suffers a fiber optics cable break between Newark/NJ and White Plains/NY. Yes, all seven New England ARPANET trunk lines were in the one severed cable. Outage took place between 1:11 and 12:11 EST on 12 December
  .fi is registered by members of the Finnish Unix User Group – FUUG – in Tampere – 12 Dec –
1987 NSF signs a cooperative agreement to manage the NSFNET backbone with Merit Network, Inc. – IBM and MCI involvement was through an agreement with Merit -. Merit, IBM, and MCI later founded ANS.
  UUNET is founded with Usenix funds to provide commercial UUCP and Usenet access. Originally an experiment by Rick Adams and Mike O’Dell
  First TCP/IP Interoperability Conference – March -, name changed in 1988 to INTEROP
  Email link established between Germany and China using CSNET protocols, with the first message from China sent on 20 September. – :wz1: –
  The concept and plan for a national US research and education network is proposed by Gordon Bell et al in a report to the Office of Science and Technology, written in response to a congressional request by Al Gore. – Nov – It would take four years until the establishment of this network by Congress – :gb1: –
  1000th RFC: ‘Request For Comments reference guide’
  Number of hosts breaks 10,000
  Number of BITNET hosts breaks 1,000
1988 2 November – Internet worm burrows through the Net, affecting ~6,000 of the 60,000 hosts on the Internet – :ph1: –
  CERT – Computer Emergency Response Team – formed by DARPA in response to the needs exhibited during the Morris worm incident. The worm is the only advisory issued this year.
  DoD chooses to adopt OSI and sees use of TCP/IP as an interim. US Government OSI Profile – GOSIP – defines the set of protocols to be supported by Government purchased products – :gck: –
  Los Nettos network created with no federal funding, instead supported by regional members – founding: Caltech, TIS, UCLA, USC, ISI -.
  NSFNET backbone upgraded to T1 – 1.544Mbps –
  CERFnet – California Education and Research Federation network – founded by Susan Estrada.
  Internet Assigned Numbers Authority – IANA – established in December with Jon Postel as its Director. Postel was also the RFC Editor and US Domain registrar for many years.
  Internet Relay Chat – IRC – developed by Jarkko Oikarinen – :zby: –
  First Canadian regionals join NSFNET: ONet via Cornell, RISQ via Princeton, BCnet via Univ of Washington – :ec1: –
  FidoNet gets connected to the Net, enabling the exchange of email and news – :tp1: –
  The first multicast tunnel is established between Stanford and BBN in the Summer of 1988.
  Countries connecting to NSFNET: Canada – CA -, Denmark – DK -, France – FR -, Iceland – IS -, Norway – NO -, Sweden – SE –
1989 Number of hosts breaks 100,000
  RIPE – Reseaux IP Europeens – formed – by European service providers – to ensure the necessary administrative and technical coordination to allow the operation of the pan-European IP Network. – :glg: –
  First relays between a commercial electronic mail carrier and the Internet: MCI Mail through the Corporation for the National Research Initiative – CNRI -, and CompuServe through Ohio State Univ – :jg1,ph1: –
  Corporation for Research and Education Networking – CREN – is formed by merging CSNET into BITNET – August –
  AARNET – Australian Academic Research Network – set up by AVCC and CSIRO; introduced into service the following year – :gmc: –
  First link between Australia and NSFNET via Hawaii on 23 June. Australia had been limited to USENET access since the early 1980s
  Cuckoo’s Egg by Clifford Stoll tells the real-life tale of a German cracker group who infiltrated numerous US facilities
  UCLA sponsors the Act One symposium to celebrate ARPANET’s 20th anniversary and its decommissioning – August –
  RFC 1121: Act One – The Poems
  Countries connecting to NSFNET: Australia – AU -, Germany – DE -, Israel – IL -, Italy – IT -, Japan – JP -, Mexico – MX -, Netherlands – NL -, New Zealand – NZ -, Puerto Rico – PR -, United Kingdom – UK –
1990 ARPANET ceases to exist
  Electronic Frontier Foundation – EFF – is founded by Mitch Kapor
  Archie released by Peter Deutsch, Alan Emtage, and Bill Heelan at McGill
  Hytelnet released by Peter Scott – Univ of Saskatchewan –
  The World comes on-line – -, becoming the first commercial provider of Internet dial-up access
  ISO Development Environment – ISODE – developed to provide an approach for OSI migration for the DoD. ISODE software allows OSI application to operate over TCP/IP – :gck: –
  CA*net formed by 10 regional networks as national Canadian backbone with direct connection to NSFNET – :ec1: –
  The first remotely operated machine to be hooked up to the Internet, the Internet Toaster by John Romkey, – controlled via SNMP – makes its debut at Interop.
  Czechoslovakia – .cs – connects to EARN/BitNet – 11 Oct -; .cs deleted in 1993
  RFC 1149: A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers. Implementation is completed 11 years later by the Bergen Linux Users Group – 28 Apr 2001 –
  RFC 1178: Choosing a Name for Your Computer
  Countries connecting to NSFNET: Argentina – AR -, Austria – AT -, Belgium – BE -, Brazil – BR -, Chile – CL -, Greece – GR -, India – IN -, Ireland – IE -, Korea – KR -, Spain – ES -, Switzerland – CH –
1991 First connection takes place between Brazil, by Fapesp, and the Internet at 9600 baud.
  Commercial Internet eXchange – CIX – Association, Inc. formed by General Atomics – CERFnet -, Performance Systems International, Inc. – PSInet -, and UUNET Technologies, Inc. – AlterNet -, as NSF lifts restrictions on the commercial use of the Net – March – – :glg: –
  Wide Area Information Servers – WAIS -, invented by Brewster Kahle, released by Thinking Machines Corporation
  Gopher released by Paul Lindner and Mark P. McCahill from the Univ of Minnesota
  World-Wide Web – WWW – released by CERN; Tim Berners-Lee developer – :pb1: -. First Web server is, launched in Nov 1990 and later renamed
  PGP – Pretty Good Privacy – released by Philip Zimmerman – :ad1: –
  US High Performance Computing Act – Gore 1 – establishes the National Research and Education Network – NREN –
  NSFNET backbone upgraded to T3 – 44.736Mbps –
  NSFNET traffic passes 1 trillion bytes/month and 10 billion packets/month
  Defense Data Network NIC contract awarded by DISA to Government Systems Inc. who takes over from SRI in May
  Start of JANET IP Service – JIPS – which signaled the changeover from Coloured Book software to TCP/IP within the UK academic network. IP was initially ‘tunneled’ within X.25. – :gst: –
  RFC 1216: Gigabit Network Economics and Paradigm Shifts
  RFC 1217: Memo from the Consortium for Slow Commotion Research – CSCR –
  Countries connecting to NSFNET: Croatia – HR -, Hong Kong – HK -, Hungary – HU -, Poland – PL -, Portugal – PT -, Singapore – SG -, South Africa – ZA -, Taiwan – TW -, Tunisia – TN –
1992 Internet Society – ISOC – is chartered – January –
  IAB reconstituted as the Internet Architecture Board and becomes part of the Internet Society
  Number of hosts breaks 1,000,000
  First MBONE audio multicast – March – and video multicast – November –
  RIPE Network Coordination Center – NCC – created in April to provide address registration and coordination services to the European Internet community – :dk1: –
  Veronica, a gopherspace search tool, is released by Univ of Nevada
  World Bank comes on-line
  The term ‘surfing the Internet’ is coined by Jean Armour Polly – :jap: -; Brendan Kehoe uses the term ‘net-surfing’ as early as 6 June 1991 in a USENET post – :bt1: –
  Zen and the Art of the Internet is published by Brendan Kehoe – :jap: –
  Internet Hunt started by Rick Gates
  RFC 1300: Remembrances of Things Past
  RFC 1313: Today’s Programming for KRFC AM 1313 – Internet Talk Radio
  Countries connecting to NSFNET: Antarctica – AQ -, Cameroon – CM -, Cyprus – CY -, Ecuador – EC -, Estonia – EE -, Kuwait – KW -, Latvia – LV -, Luxembourg – LU -, Malaysia – MY -, Slovenia – SI -, Thailand – TH -, Venezuela – VE –
1993 InterNIC created by NSF to provide specific Internet services: – :sc1: –
  directory and database services – AT&T –
  registration services – Network Solutions Inc. –
  information services – General Atomics/CERFnet –
  US White House email comes on-line at; web site launches in 1994
  President Bill Clinton:
  Vice-President Al Gore:
  Worms of a new kind find their way around the Net – WWW Worms – W4 -, joined by Spiders, Wanderers, Crawlers, and Snakes …
  Internet Talk Radio begins broadcasting – :sk2: –
  United Nations – UN – comes on-line – :vgc: –
  US National Information Infrastructure Act
  Businesses and media begin taking notice of the Internet
  .sk – Slovakia – and .cz – Czech Republic – created after split of Czechoslovakia; .cs decomissioned
  InterCon International KK – IIKK – provides Japan’s first commercial Internet connection in September. TWICS, though an IIKK leased line, begins offering dial-up accounts the following month – :tb1: –
  Mosaic takes the Internet by storm – 22 Apr -; WWW proliferates at a 341,634% annual growth rate of service traffic. Gopher’s growth is 997%.
  RFC 1437: The Extension of MIME Content-Types to a New Medium
  RFC 1438: IETF Statements of Boredom – SOBs –
  Countries connecting to NSFNET: Bulgaria – BG -, Costa Rica – CR -, Egypt – EG -, Fiji – FJ -, Ghana – GH -, Guam – GU -, Indonesia – ID -, Kazakhstan – KZ -, Kenya – KE -, Liechtenstein – LI -, Peru – PE -, Romania – RO -, Russian Federation – RU -, Turkey – TR -, Ukraine – UA -, UAE – AE -, US Virgin Islands – VI –
1994 ARPANET/Internet celebrates 25th anniversary
  Communities begin to be wired up directly to the Internet – Lexington and Cambridge, Mass., USA –
  US Senate and House provide information servers
  Shopping malls arrive on the Internet
  First cyberstation, RT-FM, broadcasts from Interop in Las Vegas
  The National Institute for Standards and Technology – NIST – suggests that GOSIP should incorporate TCP/IP and drop the ‘OSI-only’ requirement – :gck: –
  Arizona law firm of Canter & Siegel ‘spams’ the Internet with email advertising green card lottery services; Net citizens flame back
  NSFNET traffic passes 10 trillion bytes/month
  Yes, it’s true – you can now order pizza from the Hut online
  WWW edges out telnet to become 2nd most popular service on the Net – behind ftp-data – based on % of packets and bytes traffic distribution on NSFNET
  Japanese Prime Minister on-line – –
  UK’s HM Treasury on-line – –
  New Zealand’s Info Tech Prime Minister on-line – –
  First Virtual, the first cyberbank, open up for business
  Radio stations start rockin’ – rebroadcasting – round the clock on the Net: WXYC at Univ of NC, KJHK at Univ of KS-Lawrence, KUGS at Western WA Univ
  IPng recommended by IETF at its Toronto meeting – July – and approved by IESG in November. Later documented as RFC 1752
  The first banner ads appear on in October. They were for Zima – a beverage – and AT&T
  Trans-European Research and Education Network Association – TERENA – is formed by the merger of RARE and EARN, with representatives from 38 countries as well as CERN and ECMWF. TERENA’s aim is to ‘promote and participate in the development of a high quality international information and telecommunications infrastructure for the benefit of research and education’ – October –
  After noticing that many network software vendors used in their documentation examples, Bill Woodcock and Jon Postel register the domain. Sure enough, after looking at the domain access logs, it was evident that many users were using the example domain in configuring their applications.
  The first web-based machine translation system is developed by this Timeline’s author, supporting 9 languages, and made available the following year to hundreds of thousands of users on OSIS and Intelink, both US government networks
  RFC 1605: SONET to Sonnet Translation
  RFC 1606: A Historical Perspective On The Usage Of IP Version 9
  Countries connecting to NSFNET: Algeria – DZ -, Armenia – AM -, Bermuda – BM -, Burkina Faso – BF -, China – CN -, Colombia – CO -, Jamaica – JM -, Jordan – JO -, Lebanon – LB -, Lithuania – LT -, Macao – MO -, Morocco – MA -, New Caledonia – NC -, Nicaragua – NI -, Niger – NE -, Panama – PA -, Philippines – PH -, Senegal – SN -, Sri Lanka – LK -, Swaziland – SZ -, Uruguay – UY -, Uzbekistan – UZ –
  Top 10 Domains by Host #: com, edu, uk, gov, de, ca, mil, au, org, net
1995 NSFNET reverts back to a research network. Main US backbone traffic now routed through interconnected network providers
  The new NSFNET is born as NSF establishes the very high speed Backbone Network Service – vBNS – linking super-computing centers: NCAR, NCSA, SDSC, CTC, PSC
  Neda Rayaneh Institute – NRI -, Iran’s first commercial provider, comes online, connecting via satellite to Cadvision, a Canadian provider – :rm1: –
  Hong Kong police disconnect all but one of the colony’s Internet providers for failure to obtain a license; thousands of users are left without service – :kf2: –
  Sun launches JAVA on May 23
  RealAudio, an audio streaming technology, lets the Net hear in near real-time
  Radio HK, the first commercial 24 hr., Internet-only radio station starts broadcasting
  WWW surpasses ftp-data in March as the service with greatest traffic on NSFNet based on packet count, and in April based on byte count
  Traditional online dial-up systems – CompuServe, America Online, Prodigy – begin to provide Internet access
  Chris Lamprecht – aka ‘Minor Threat’ – becomes the first person banned from accessing the Internet by a US District Court judge in Texas
  Thousands in Minneapolis-St. Paul – USA – lose Net access after transients start a bonfire under a bridge at the Univ of MN causing fiber-optic cables to melt – 30 July –
  A number of Net related companies go public, with Netscape leading the pack with the 3rd largest ever NASDAQ IPO share value – 9 August –
  Registration of domain names is no longer free. Beginning 14 September, a $50 annual fee has been imposed, which up until now was subsidized by NSF. NSF continues to pay for .edu registration, and on an interim basis for .gov
  The Vatican comes on-line – –
  The Canadian Government comes on-line – –
  The first official Internet wiretap was successful in helping the Secret Service and Drug Enforcement Agency – DEA – apprehend three individuals who were illegally manufacturing and selling cell phone cloning equipment and electronic devices
  Operation Home Front connects, for the first time, soldiers in the field with their families back home via the Internet.
  Richard White becomes the first person to be declared a munition, under the USA’s arms export control laws, because of an RSA file security encryption program tattooed on his arm – :wired496: –
  RFC 1882: The 12-Days of Technology Before Christmas
  Country domains registered: Ethiopia – ET -, Cote d’Ivoire – CI -, Cook Islands – CK – Cayman Islands – KY -, Anguilla – AI -, Gibraltar – GI -, Vatican – VA -, Kiribati – KI -, Kyrgyzstan – KG -, Madagascar – MG -, Mauritius – MU -, Micronesia – FM -, Monaco – MC -, Mongolia – MN -, Nepal – NP -, Nigeria – NG -, Western Samoa – WS -, San Marino – SM -, Tanzania – TZ -, Tonga – TO -, Uganda – UG -, Vanuatu – VU –
  Top 10 Domains by Host #: com, edu, net, gov, mil, org, de, uk, ca, au
  Technologies of the Year: WWW, Search engines
  Emerging Technologies: Mobile code – JAVA, JAVAscript -, Virtual environments – VRML -, Collaborative tools
  Hacks of the Year: The Spot – Jun 12 -, Hackers Movie Page – 12 Aug –
1996 Internet phones catch the attention of US telecommunication companies who ask the US Congress to ban the technology – which has been around for years –
  Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, PLO Leader Yasser Arafat, and Phillipine President Fidel Ramos meet for ten minutes in an online interactive chat session on 17 January.
  The controversial US Communications Decency Act – CDA – becomes law in the US in order to prohibit distribution of indecent materials over the Net. A few months later a three-judge panel imposes an injunction against its enforcement. Supreme Court unanimously rules most of it unconstitutional in 1997.
  9,272 organizations find themselves unlisted after the InterNIC drops their name service as a result of not having paid their domain name fee
  Various ISPs suffer extended service outages, bringing into question whether they will be able to handle the growing number of users. AOL – 19 hours -, Netcom – 13 hours -, AT&T WorldNet – 28 hours – email only –
  Domain name sold to CNET for US$15,000
  New York’s Public Access Networks Corp – PANIX – is shut down after repeated SYN attacks by a cracker using methods outlined in a hacker magazine – 2600 –
  MCI upgrades Internet backbone adding ~13,000 ports, bringing the effective speed from 155Mbps to 622Mbps.
  The Internet Ad Hoc Committee announces plans to add 7 new generic Top Level Domains – gTLD -: .firm, .store, .web, .arts, .rec, .info, .nom. The IAHC plan also calls for a competing group of domain registrars worldwide.
  A malicious cancelbot is released on USENET wiping out more than 25,000 messages
  The WWW browser war, fought primarily between Netscape and Microsoft, has rushed in a new age in software development, whereby new releases are made quarterly with the help of Internet users eager to test upcoming – beta – versions.
  Internet2 project is kicked off by representatives from 34 universities on 1 Oct – :msb: –
  RFC 1925: The Twelve Networking Truths
  Restrictions on Internet use around the world:
  China: requires users and ISPs to register with the police
  Germany: cuts off access to some newsgroups carried on CompuServe
  Saudi Arabia: confines Internet access to universities and hospitals
  Singapore: requires political and religious content providers to register with the state
  New Zealand: classifies computer disks as ‘publications’ that can be censored and seized
  source: Human Rights Watch
  Country domains registered: Qatar – QA -, Central African Republic – CF -, Oman – OM -, Norfolk Island – NF -, Tuvalu – TV -, French Polynesia – PF -, Syria – SY -, Aruba – AW -, Cambodia – KH -, French Guiana – GF -, Eritrea – ER -, Cape Verde – CV -, Burundi – BI -, Benin – BJ – Bosnia-Herzegovina – BA -, Andorra – AD -, Guadeloupe – GP -, Guernsey – GG -, Isle of Man – IM -, Jersey – JE -, Lao – LA -, Maldives – MV -, Marshall Islands – MH -, Mauritania – MR -, Northern Mariana Islands – MP -, Rwanda – RW -, Togo – TG -, Yemen – YE -, Zaire – ZR –
  Top 10 Domains by Host #: com, edu, net, uk, de, jp, us, mil, ca, au
  Hacks of the Year: US Dept of Justice – 17 Aug -, CIA – 19 Sep -, Air Force – 29 Dec -, UK Labour Party – 6 Dec -, NASA DDCSOL – USAFE – US Air Force – 30 Dec –
  Technologies of the Year: Search engines, JAVA, Internet Phone
  Emerging Technologies: Virtual environments – VRML -, Collaborative tools, Internet appliance – Network Computer –
1997 2000th RFC: ‘Internet Official Protocol Standards’
  71,618 mailing lists registered at Liszt, a mailing list directory
  The American Registry for Internet Numbers – ARIN – is established to handle administration and registration of IP numbers to the geographical areas currently handled by Network Solutions – InterNIC -, starting March 1998.
  CA*net II launched in June to provide Canada’s next generation Internet using ATM/SONET
  In protest of the DNS monopoly, AlterNIC’s owner, Eugene Kashpureff, hacks DNS so users going to end up at
  Domain name sold for US$150,000
  Early in the morning of 17 July, human error at Network Solutions causes the DNS table for .com and .net domains to become corrupted, making millions of systems unreachable.
  Longest hostname registered with InterNIC: CHALLENGER.MED.SYNAPSE.UAH.UALBERTA.CA
  101,803 Name Servers in whois database
  RFC 2100: The Naming of Hosts
  Country domains registered: Falkland Islands – FK -, East Timor – TP -, R of Congo – CG -, Christmas Island – CX -, Gambia – GM -, Guinea-Bissau – GW -, Haiti – HT -, Iraq – IQ -, Libya – LY -, Malawi – MW -, Martinique – MQ -, Montserrat – MS -, Myanmar – MM -, French Reunion Island – RE -, Seychelles – SC -, Sierra Leone – SL -, Somalia – SO -, Sudan – SD -, Tajikistan – TJ -, Turkmenistan – TM -, Turks and Caicos Islands – TC -, British Virgin Islands – VG -, Heard and McDonald Islands – HM -, French Southern Territories – TF -, British Indian Ocean Territory – IO -, Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands – SJ -, St Pierre and Miquelon – PM -, St Helena – SH -, South Georgia/Sandwich Islands – GS -, Sao Tome and Principe – ST -, Ascension Island – AC -, US Minor Outlying Islands – UM -, Mayotte – YT -, Wallis and Futuna Islands – WF -, Tokelau Islands – TK -, Chad Republic – TD -, Afghanistan – AF -, Cocos Island – CC -, Bouvet Island – BV -, Liberia – LR -, American Samoa – AS -, Niue – NU -, Equatorial New Guinea – GQ -, Bhutan – BT -, Pitcairn Island – PN -, Palau – PW -, DR of Congo – CD –
  Top 10 Domains by Host #: com, edu, net, jp, uk, de, us, au, ca, mil
  Hacks of the Year: Indonesian Govt – 19 Jan, 10 Feb, 24 Apr, 30 Jun, 22 Nov -, NASA – 5 Mar -, UK Conservative Party – 27 Apr -, Spice Girls – 14 Nov –
  Technologies of the Year: Push, Multicasting
  Emerging Technologies: Push
1998 Hobbes’ Internet Timeline is released as RFC 2235 & FYI 32
  US Depart of Commerce – DoC – releases the Green Paper outlining its plan to privatize DNS on 30 January. This is followed up by a White Paper on June 5
  La Fête de l’Internet, a country-wide Internet fest, is held in France 20-21 March
  Web size estimates range between 275 – Digital – and 320 – NEC – million pages for 1Q
  Companies flock to the Turkmenistan NIC in order to register their name under the .tm domain, the English abbreviation for trademark
  Internet users get to be judges in a performance by 12 world champion ice skaters on 27 March, marking the first time a television sport show’s outcome is determined by its viewers.
  Network Solutions registers its 2 millionth domain on 4 May
  Electronic postal stamps become a reality, with the US Postal Service allowing stamps to be purchased and downloaded for printing from the Web.
  Canada kicks off CA*net 3, the first national optical internet
  CDA II and a ban on Net taxes are signed into US law – 21 October – accidentally posts test US election returns one day early – 2 November –
  Indian ISP market is deregulated in November causing a rush for ISP operation licenses
  US DoC enters into an agreement with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers – ICANN – to establish a process for transitioning DNS from US Government management to industry – 25 November –
  San Francisco sites without off-city mirrors go offline as the city blacks out on 8 December
  Chinese government puts Lin Hai on trial for ‘inciting the overthrow of state power’ for providing 30,000 email addresses to a US Internet magazine – December – [ He is later sentenced to two years in jail ]
  French Internet users give up their access on 13 December to boycott France Telecom’s local phone charges – which are in addition to the ISP charge –
  US$1M+ Domain Sales: – 3.3M – to Compaq
  Open source software comes of age
  RFC 2321: RITA — The Reliable Internetwork Troubleshooting Agent
  RFC 2322: Management of IP numbers by peg-dhcp
  RFC 2323: IETF Identification and Security Guidelines
  RFC 2324: Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol – HTCPCP/1.0 –
  Country domains registered: Nauru – NR -, Comoros – KM –
  Bandwidth Generators: Winter Olympics – Feb -, World Cup – Jun-Jul -, Starr Report – 11 Sep -, Glenn space launch
  Top 10 Domains by Host #: com, net, edu, mil, jp, us, uk ,de, ca, au
  Hacks of the Year: US Dept of Commerce – 20 Feb -, New York Times – 13 Sep -, China Society for Human Rights Studies – 26 Oct -, UNICEF – 7 Jan –
  Technologies of the Year: E-Commerce, E-Auctions, Portals
  Emerging Technologies: E-Trade, XML, Intrusion Detection
1999 Internet access becomes available to the Saudi Arabian – .sa – public in January
  vBNS sets up an OC48 link between CalREN South and North using Juniper M40 routers
  IBM becomes the first Corporate partner to be approved for Internet2 access
  European Parliament proposes banning the caching of Web pages by ISPs
  The Internet Fiesta kicks off in March across Europe, building on the success of La Fête de l’Internet held in 1998
  US State Court rules that domain names are property that may be garnished
  MCI/Worldcom, the vBNS provider for NSF, begins upgrading the US backbone to 2.5Gbps
  A forged Web page made to look like a Bloomberg financial news story raised shares of a small technology company by 31% on 7 April.
  ICANN announces the five testbed registrars for the competitive Shared Registry System on 21 April: AOL, CORE, France Telecom/Oléane, Melbourne IT, 29 additional post-testbed registrars are also selected on 21 April, followed by 8 on 25 May, 15 on 6 July, and so on for a total of 98 by year’s end. The testbed, originally scheduled to last until 24 June, is extended until 10 September, and then 30 November. The first registrar to come online is on 7 June
  SETI@Home launches on 17 May and within four weeks its distributed Internet clients provide more computing power than the most powerful supercomputer of its time – :par: –
  First large-scale Cyberwar takes place simultaneously with the war in Serbia/Kosovo
  Abilene, the Internet2 network, reaches across the Atlantic and connects to NORDUnet and SURFnet
  The Web becomes the focal point of British politics as a list of MI6 agents is released on a UK Web site. Though forced to remove the list from the site, it was too late as the list had already been replicated across the Net. – 15 May –
  Activists Net-wide target the world’s financial centers on 18 June, timed to coincide with the G8 Summit. Little actual impact is reported.
  MCI/Worldcom launches vBNS+, a commercialized version of vBNS targeted at smaller educational and research institutions
  DoD issues a memo requiring all US military systems to connect via NIPRNET, and not directly to the Internet by 15 Dec 1999 – 22 Aug –
  Somalia gets its first ISP – Olympic Computer – Sep –
  ISOC approves the formation of the Internet Societal Task Force – ISTF -. Vint Cerf serves as first chair
  Free computers are all the rage – as long as you sign a long term contract for Net service –
  Country domains registered: Bangladesh – BD -, Palestine – PS –
  vBNS reaches 101 connections
  US$1M+ Domain Sales: – 7.5M on 30 Nov -, – 2.9M -, – 2.2M -, – 1M in Apr –
  RFC 2549: IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service
  RFC 2550: Y10K and Beyond
  RFC 2551: The Roman Standards Process — Revision III
  RFC 2555: 30 Years of RFCs
  RFC 2626: The Internet and the Millennium Problem – Year 2000 –
  Top 10 TLDs by Host #: com, net, edu, jp, uk, mil, us, de, ca, au
  Hacks of the Year: Star Wars – 8 Jan -, .tp – Jan -, USIA – 23 Jan -, E-Bay – 13 Mar -, US Senate – 27 May -, NSI – 2 Jul -, Paraguay Gov’t – 20 Jul -, AntiOnline – 5 Aug -, Microsoft – 26 Oct -, UK Railtrack – 31 Dec –
  Technologies of the Year: E-Trade, Online Banking, MP3
  Emerging Technologies: Net-Cell Phones, Thin Computing, Embedded Computing
  Viruses of the Year: Melissa – March -, ExploreZip – June -.


John Pierce After growing wildly for years, the field of computing appears to be reaching its infancy.