Securing the Network

 F. Scott Yeager and the Rise of the Commercial Internet 

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Securing the Network Book Cover

Out of Chaos

How the media-rich, Commercial Internet developed

     In 1666, the City of London suffered one of the great disasters of Civilization, today known simply as “The Great Fire.” From chaos came greatness. London emerged stronger and better, with beautiful architecture and great landmarks. The masterpiece of that rebuilding was St. Paul’s Cathedral, completed in 1710.

     The architect of that rebuilding was named Christopher Wren. Upon his passing, his epitaph concludes with the Latin phrase Si monumentum requiris, circumspice— “If his monument you seek, look around.”

     From the chaos of the early DARPA, ARPANET and NSF-funded NSFNET has emerged a globe-spanning communications facility we today call simply “The Internet.”

     Like the London rebuilding, armies of resourceful and talented people, from lowly tradesmen to visionary architects, have devoted their lives to the project. It is impossible, not to mention absurd, to single out any individual as having “invented” the Internet. Nonetheless, just as Sir Christopher Wren was an architect and visionary leader in the London efforts, certain people today stand out as leaders and visionaries who made monumental contributions to today’s Commercial Internet.

     In the 1980s Scott Yeager was an early driver in the move toward carrying LAN traffic beyond the office walls. In the 1990s he was an innovator who envisioned the interconnection of disparate networks into “peering points” and who wrote the rules that allowed the explosive growth that followed. In the 2000s he created the streaming media we use today.

     Scott Yeager was the visionary driver for the formation of MAE-East, the long-haul backbone at MFS Datanet, and a forward-thinking pioneer of the media-rich streaming data services that came into being at the ill-fated Enron Broadband Services (EBS) prior to the dot-com bubble burst in March of 2000.

     It has been my pleasure and privilege to write a biography, ostensibly of Scott, but also of the Internet itself; to tell the tale, spanning the conception, formation of networking itself, the early NSFNet Internet, and how it became molded into the media-rich, streaming network we know today.

     The Commercial Internet includes media-rich streaming content to enable e-commerce, and engage large audiences via all types of devices. This is the story of the commercialization of the Internet, but also about its flaws and how it now enables bad actors to take advantage of users, as well as what we can do about it. Circumspice! – Look Around!