Abstract - The Information Society 27(5)

The Framing Years: Policy Fundamentals in the Internet Design Process, 1969-1979

Sandra Braman

Those responsible for the technical decision-making that created the Internet found they had to think through a number of social policy issues, from privacy and intellectual property rights through the definition of common carriage and environmental problems, along the way. Such issues were framed by conceptualizations of the nature of the network, goals to be served by the network, users and uses of the network, and the design criteria that served as policy principles developed during the early years of the design process. This article examines such policy fundamentals as they developed through the technical document series that records the Internet design process, the Internet Requests for Comments (RFCs) during the first decade of that process, 1969-1979.

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