The History of the Internet

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Tuesday, 9:15-11:00am
Format: Lecture, followed by discussion
Lead: Jonathan Zittrain

The day will begin with a brief history of the Net and an introduction to the theory of generativity as a framework to understand the Internet’s disruptive power. Jonathan Zittrain’s opening lecture will focus on the Internet’s technical evolution and underlying architecture; the values that informed its early development, including principles related to consensus, openness, and non-discrimination; and the range of players, from users to computer scientists, governments and other bodies, and corporations, who engaged in the various activities, controls, and other arrangements that formed the initial distributed digital governance of the online space. What characteristics make the evolution of the Internet so unique? What are the issues and organizations that characterize online governance and policy-making today?

Recommended Readings

Related Videos

See Jonathan's past iLaw videos


  • Zittrain explains the fundamental structure of the internet.