The Internet Hall of Fame was started last year by the Internet Society as an annual awards program to celebrate those who have made a significant contribution towards the internet’s development and advancement. This year a further 32 names have been announced as new additions to the hall of fame.
Congratulations to all of those who are being inducted into the hall of fame this year and our thanks as well for enabling the internet to become what it has.
A number of names on the list stand out as being of particular note to those of us concerned with digital and intellectual property rights. Aaron Swarz is recognised posthumously for his work co-authoring RSS 1.0 and as an early Creative Commons architect. Richard Stallman and John Perry Barlow join him on the list, all three being recognised as “innovators”, a category of award aimed at recognising those who “made outstanding technological, commercial, regulatory or policy advances and helped to expand the Internet’s reach.”
Of course the internet will always be a work in progress. Recognising the vision and excellence of those celebrated in the internet hall of fame for getting the internet to the place it’s in today, we must also recognise the need for ongoing progress and vision for the internet’s future. Stallman himself put it this way:
“Now that we have made the Internet work, the next task is to stop it from being a platform for massive surveillance, and make it work in a way that respects human rights, including privacy.”