Marconi Society Chair Vint Cerf’s Take on Steve Crocker’s Tenure at ICANN

Steve Crocker

From Net Policy News

Term limited. Steve writes,

We have term limits for directors, no more than three consecutive three year terms.  I have reached my limit and am leaving the Board. The Board’s chair is chosen each year by the Board. The formal election of the next chair takes place at the end of the Annual General Meeting in Abu Dhabi.

He has been active literally since the beginning of the Internet in 1969. He was part of the UCLA team, led by Len Kleinrock, that connected the first Internet node, back in DARPA days. Wired has a great interview about the early days, including how Steve developed the RFC system. There’s also an oral history of the early days Steve did back in 1991.

Americans Avri Doria and Sarah Deutsch have been nominated and will likely join the ICANN Board at the October Abu Dhabi meeting,

I once called Deutsch a hero because of her work on some basic Internet protections while she was with Verizon. She now works with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Avri, a friend, has been active in ISOC and U.S. policy issues for many years.

VInt Cerf has “known and worked with Steve since we were teenagers together at Van Nuys High School in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.” He writes:

“Steve deserves enormous credit both for his early leadership in computer networking that culminated in the host level protocols for the ARPANET and the creation of the RFC series. It also anointed Jon Postel as the Numbers Czar, the RFC Editor and eventually the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority that eventually also encompassed management of the domain name system for many years.

Steve also deserves recognition for his very long service to ICANN and the Internet Community as the inaugural chairman of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee, Board member and eventual chairman of the Board. He has been the right person at the right time in all of these roles. The transition of control of the IANA functions from the contractual era under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to ICANN and its community took place during his time as chairman and his steady hand and unflappable style contributed greatly to the final success of that effort.

I can say without hesitation that he is one of a handful of the smartest and most thoughtful people it has been my privilege to know. The Internet community has benefited from his lasting commitment to network technology and it is fitting that we now offer our best wishes in the next phase of his career.”

Here’s Crocker’s Wikipedia article and the official NomCom release.

Stephen D. Crocker (born October 15, 1944, in Pasadena, California) is the inventor of the Request for Comments series,[1]authoring the very first RFC[2] and many more.[3] He received his bachelor’s degree (1968) and PhD (1977) from the University of California, Los Angeles.[4] Crocker is chair of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN.[5]

Steve Crocker has worked in the Internet community since its inception. As a UCLA graduate student in the 1960s, he was part of the team that developed the protocols for the ARPANET which were the foundation for today’s Internet.[6] For this work, Crocker was awarded the 2002 IEEE Internet Award.[7]

While at UCLA Crocker taught an extension course on computer programming (for the IBM 7094 mainframe computer). The class was intended to teach digital processing and assembly language programming to high school teachers, so that they could offer such courses in their high schools. A number of high school students were also admitted to the course, to ensure that they would be able to understand this new discipline. Crocker was also active in the newly formed UCLA Computer Club.

Crocker has been a program manager at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a senior researcher at USC‘s Information Sciences Institute, founder and director of the Computer Science Laboratory at The Aerospace Corporation and a vice president at Trusted Information Systems. In 1994, Crocker was one of the founders and chief technology officer of CyberCash, Inc. In 1998, he founded and ran Executive DSL, a DSL-based ISP. In 1999 he cofounded and was CEO of Longitude Systems. He is currently CEO of Shinkuro, a research and development company.

Steve Crocker was instrumental in creating the ARPA “Network Working Group”, which later was the context in which the IETF was created.

He has also been an IETF security area director, a member of the Internet Architecture Board, chair of the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee, a board member of the Internet Society and numerous other Internet-related volunteer positions.

In 2012, Crocker was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.[8]