1.6. The European Invasion

The Network Working Group set the tone for the development of most protocols and procedures associated with the Internet and TCP/IP to this day. From its beginning as a group of graduate students and staffers working at the first four ARPANET sites, worried that their junior status and audacity at suggesting protocol solutions would offend the “real” protocol designers, Internet protocol development has been open, driven from the bottom up, with anyone allowed to participate in the process. RFCs were their means of documentation.

“When the RFCs were first produced,” Vint Cerf writes, “they had an almost nineteenth-century character to them—letters exchanged in public debating the merits of various design choices for ...

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