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InterNIC, short for Internet Network Information Center, was the Internet governing body primarily responsible for domain name and IP address allocations until September 18, 1998 when this role was assumed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). It was accessed through the website internic.net which was run by Network Solutions, Inc and AT&T.

Contents

Term

"InterNIC" is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The term is licensed to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

History

The first central authority to coordinate the operation of the network was the Network Information Center (NIC) at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, California). In 1972, management of these issues was given to the newly created Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). In addition to his role as the RFC Editor, Jon Postel worked as the manager of IANA till his death in 1998.

As the early ARPANet grew, hosts were referred to by names, and a HOSTS.TXT file was distributed by SRI International and manually installed on each host on the network. As the network grew, this became increasingly cumbersome. A technical solution came in the form of the Domain Name System, created by Paul Mockapetris. The Defense Data Network Network Information Center (DDN-NIC) at SRI handled all registration services, including the Top Level Domains of .mil, .gov, .edu, .org, .net, .com and .us, as well as root nameserver administration and Internet number assignments under a United States Department of Defense contract. In 1991 the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) awarded the administration and maintenance of DDN-NIC, which had been up until this point under the management of SRI for many years, to Government Systems, Inc. who subcontracted it to the small private-sector Network Solutions, Inc.

At this point in history most of the growth on the Internet was in the non-military sector. Therefor, it was decided that the Department of Defense would no longer fund registration services outside of the .mil TLD. In 1993 the U.S. National Science Foundation, after a competitive bidding process in 1992, created the Internet Network Information Center, known as InterNIC, to manage the allocations of addresses and awarded the contract to three organizations. Registration Services were to be provided by Network Solutions, Directory and Database Services were to be run by AT&T, and Information Services by General Atomics. Later, General Atomics was disqualified from the contract after a review found their services not conforming to the standards of its contract. General Atomics' InterNIC functions were assumed by AT&T. AT&T discontinued InterNIC services after their contract expired.

In 1998 both IANA and InterNIC were reorganized under the control of ICANN, a California non-profit corporation contracted by the US Department of Commerce to manage a number of Internet-related tasks. The role of operating the DNS system was privatized, and opened up to competition, while the central management of name allocations would be awarded on a contract tender basis.

Domain name censorship

Under internic.net, domain names were distributed through an automated system. Beginning in 1996, Network Solutions began restricting the distribution of domain names containing a number of words on a "restricted list" through an automated filter. The filter is known to have rejected domain names containing the "least agreeable words in the English language" Applicants whose domain names were rejected would receive a form e-mail containing the notice: "Network Solutions has a right founded in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to refuse to register, and thereby publish, on the Internet registry of domain names words that it deems to be inappropriate."

This filter came under heavy scrutiny, as legitimate domain names such as "shitakemushrooms.com" would be rejected, but the domain name "shit.com" was active, as it had been registered before 1996. Network Solutions eventually allowed domain names containing the words on a case-by-case basis, after manually reviewing the names for "obscene intent". This profanity filter was never enforced by the government and was not carried over to the ICANN organization when they took over governance of the distribution of domain names to the public.

Trivia

  • In the world of Uplink and its clones, InterNIC exists with the same function as in the real world. It is also one of the most important cyber places in the game because it serves a major role in the hacking process.
Example: InterNIC in Uplink could be hacked very easily, and all logs on the server could be removed by the player, for his own safety, so he couldn’t be traced after a hack.

See also

External links








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