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Federal Internet Law & Policy
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Will The Real Internet Please Stand Up?

We start with a problem.  The problem is that so frequently while discussing legal or regulatory issues related to The Internet, we have no idea what it is that we are talking about.

Countless courts, legislative bodies, and packs of pundits have sought to produce definitions of The Internet.  Their attempts have at times been poor and misconstrued.  Many definitions do not agree.  Some talk about applications.  Some talk about packets.  And others are simply too vague to be of value.  And yet, not comprehending the object of the policy, the lawyers go merrily forward constructing on faulty foundation new, imaginative, and perhaps misdirected policy and law.

Is it possible to formulate a good definition of The Internet?  Is The Internet the technical specs that currently make up The Internet?  Is The Internet based on the experience of The Internet by the user?  Can a definition of The Internet reflect the robust and flexible nature, in all of its diversity, as it exists today and what it might become tomorrow?  Is there something wrong with this simple question about the definition of The Internet that makes it so hard to answer?

This paper sets forth on a modest quest: make fun of previous definitions of The Internet; attempt to provide a foundational exploration of what a good understanding of The Internet might look like; and finally, look at why none of this (usually) should or does matter. 

A response to this modest quest might be that what The Internet is depends upon why you are asking.  There may be a degree of truth to this.  The cubist will argue that there are multiple perspectives of a horse, all of which are valid.  The modernist will argue that how we perceive of the horse depends on where we ourselves stand.  Nevertheless, there is a horse there.  While there may be multiple perspectives of a horse, looking at the bird sitting on the horse is not looking at the horse.  Part of the mission here is to say to the courts or to any other legal body, stop looking at the bird.

Read More...

"Internet: The term ''Internet'' means the international computer network of both Federal and non-Federal interoperable packet switched data networks." 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(1).

"The term 'Internet' has the meaning given the term is section 230(f)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230(f)(1))"  47 USC § 1127.

`The term `Internet' has the meaning given that term in section 230(f)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230(f)(1)).'. - AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, SEC. 3005. DEFINITIONS.

The term "Internet" means the combination of computer facilities and electromagnetic transmission media, and related equipment and software, comprising the interconnected worldwide network of computer networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol or any successor protocol to transmit the information. 47 U.S.C. § 231(e)(3).

Internet.--The term ``Internet'' means collectively the myriad of computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and  operating software, which comprise the interconnected world-wide network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or any predecessor or successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire or radio.  - Internet Tax Freedom Act, Pub. L. No. 105-277, Div. C, tit 11, § 1101(e)(3)(C)

(10) INTERNET- The term `Internet' has the meaning given that term in the Internet Tax Freedom Act (47 U.S.C. 151 nt). CAN SPAM Act Sec. 3(10)

47 USC 151 Note Internet Tax Freedom Act, Sec. 1105(d)(4) Internet.-The term 'Internet' means collectively the myriad of computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and operating software, which comprise the interconnected world-wide network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or any predecessor or successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire or radio.

INTERNET.-The term "Internet" means collectively the myriad of computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and operating software, which comprise the interconnected world-wide network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol, or any predecessor or successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire or radio.  --- The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 105-277, Div. C, tit 13, § 1302(6).

"(2) INTERNET- The term `Internet' means collectively the myriad of computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and operating software, which comprise the interconnected world-wide network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or any predecessor successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire or radio." Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008, Sec. 216

State Statutes

Del. Code Title 11 § 931. Definitions. (12) The "Internet" is a hierarchy of computer networks and systems that includes, but is not limited to, commercial (.com or .co), university (.ac or .edu) and other research networks (.org, .net) and military (.mil) networks and spans many different physical networks and systems around the world.

Regulatory Statements

We use the term “Internet” in this Order similarly to how the Commission has used it previously, inclusive of interconnected public, private, managed, and non-managed IP networks. See, e.g., Pulver, 19 FCC Rcd at 3309, para. 4 (citing GTE Telephone Operating Cos., GTE Tariff No. 1, GTOC Transmittal No. 1148, CC Docket No. 98-79, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 22466, 22468, para. 5 (1998) (GTE ADSL Order)); see also Inquiry Concerning High-Speed Access to the Internet Over Cable and Other Facilities; Internet Over Cable Declaratory Ruling; Appropriate Regulatory Treatment for Broadband Access to the Internet Over Cable Facilities, GN Docket No. 00-185; CS Docket No. 02-52, Declaratory Ruling and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 17 FCC Rcd 4798, 4799 n.1 (2002) (Cable Modem Declaratory Ruling), aff’d in part , vacated in part, and remanded, Brand X Internet Services v. FCC, 345 F.3d 1120 (9th Cir. 2003), stay granted pending cert. (April 9, 2004), petitions for cert. filed , Nos. 04-277 (Aug. 30, 2004), 04-281 (Aug. 27, 2004) .

- Vonage Holdings Corporation Petition for Declaratory Ruling Concerning an Order of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, WC Docket No. 03-211, Memorandum Opinion and Order n. 10 (FCC Nov. 12, 2004)


The Internet is a distributed packet-switched network of interconnected computers enabling people around the world to communicate with one another, invoke multiple Internet services simultaneously and access information with no knowledge of the physical location of the server where that information resides.7 The Internet represents a paradigmatic shift in network technology: intelligence in the system no longer resides, as it did in the legacy circuit-switched network, primarily in the network itself, but has instead migrated to the edge of a vastly different type of network - to the end user's CPE.

7 See, e.g., GTE Telephone Operating Cos., GTE Tariff No. 1, GTOC Transmittal No. 1148, CC Docket No. 98-
79, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 22466, 22468, para. 5 (1998) (GTE ADSL Order).

-- In re Petition for Declaratory Ruling that pulver.com's Free World Dialup is Neither Telecommunications Nor a Telecommunications Service, WC Docket No. 03-45, Memorandum Opinion And Order  ¶ 4 (FCC February 19, 2004)



Fundamentally, the Internet is a global, packet switched network that enables interconnection between networks using Internet Protocol (IP).  The Supreme Court has described the Internet as "an international network of interconnected computers."  Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844, 849-50 (1997).  The Internet traces its beginnings to a government-sponsored networking project known as the ARPANET.  Begun as a Defense Department network, the military portion of Defense Advanced Research Project Agency network (ARPANET), was integrated into the Defense Data Network in the early 1980s and the civilian ARPANET was taken out of service in 1990.  Around this time, the National Science Foundation's NSFNET, a transmission control protocol (TCP)/IP network, experienced increased usage and eventually eclipsed the ARPANET in terms of total users connected.  See Kevin Werbach, Digital Tornado: The Internet and Telecommunications Policy, Office of Plans and Policy Working Paper Series 29, 15 (1997).
-- In Re Appropriate Framework for Broadband Access to the Internet over Wireline Facilities, CC Docket No. 02-33, CC Dockets Nos. 95-20, 98-10, NPRM n. 16 (February 15, 2002) http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-02-42A1.doc


For purposes of this proceeding, we use the definition of the Internet that has been adopted by the Federal Networking Council: "'Internet' refers to the global information system that -- (i) is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons; (ii) is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and (iii) provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein."  See FNC Resolution: Definition of 'Internet,' available at http://www.itrd.gov/fnc/ Internet_res.html, visited Jan. 22, 2002.  Statutory definitions of the Internet are in Communications Act § 230(f)(1), 47 U.S.C. § 230(f)(1) ("the international computer network of both Federal and non-Federal interoperable packet switched data networks") and Communications Act § 231(e)(3), 47 U.S.C. § 231(e)(3) ("the combination of computer facilities and electromagnetic transmission media, and related equipment and software, comprising the interconnected worldwide network of computer networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol or any successor protocol to transmit the information.").
-- In Re Inquiry Concerning High-Speed Access to the Internet Over Cable and Other Facilities, GN Docket No. 00-185, CS Docket No. 02-52 Declaratory Ruling And Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking, ¶ 1 n. 1 (March 15, 2002)


The Internet is an international network of interconnected computers enabling millions of people to communicate with one another and to access vast amounts of information from around the world.3 The Internet functions by splitting up information into "small chunks or 'packets' that are individually routed . . . to their destination."4 With packet-switching, "even two packets from the same message may travel over different physical paths through the network . . . which enables users to invoke multiple Internet services simultaneously, and to access information with no knowledge of the physical location of the service where the information resides."5

3 47 U.S.C. ' 230; see also Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 117 S. Ct. 2329, 2334 (1997).
4 Universal Service Report to Congress, 13 FCC Rcd at 11531, 11532.
5 Id.

--In Re Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Inter-Carrier Compensation for ISP-Bound Traffic, CC Docket No. 96-98, CC Docket No. 99-68, Declaratory Ruling ¶ 3 (February 26, 1999)



The Internet is an international network of interconnected computers enabling millions of people to communicate with one another and to access vast amounts of information from around the world.[8] The Internet functions by splitting up information into "small chunks or 'packets' that are individually routed through the most efficient path to their destination."[9] With packet-switching, "even two packets from the same message may travel over different physical paths through the network . . . which enables users to invoke multiple Internet services simultaneously, and to access information with no knowledge of the physical location of the service where the information resides."[10]

[8] 47 U.S.C. ' 230; see also Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 117 S. Ct. 2329, 2334 (1997).
[9] Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, CC Docket No. 96-45, Report to Congress, 13 FCC Rcd 11501, 11531, 11532 (1998) (Universal Service Report to Congress).
[10] Id. at 11531, 11532.

-- In Re GTE Telephone Operators GTOC Tariff No. 1 GTE Transmittal No. 1148, Memorandum Opinion And Order, CC Docket No. 98-79 ¶ 2 (October 30, 1998), recon. denied (February 26, 1999).



The Internet is an interconnected network of packet-switched networks.[382]

[fn382]Kevin Werbach, "Digital Tornado: the Internet and Telecommunications Policy" (OPP Working Paper Series No. 29, 1997) (Digital Tornado) at 10. A packet-switched network is one that transmits information by breaking it into small packets that are independently routed through the network from source to destination according to a destination address that is included in each packet. Packet switching differs from the circuit switching used in Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS): in a circuit-switched network, a dedicated circuit between the parties is established and reserved for the exclusive use of those parties. See Newton's at 527.

-- In re Application of WorldCom, Inc. and MCI Communications Corporation for Transfer of Control of MCI Communications Corporation to WorldCom, Inc., Report and Order, CC Docket No. 97-211 ¶ 143 (September 14, 1998).



"The Internet is a loose interconnection of networks belonging to many owners. It is comprised of tens of thousands of networks that communicate using the Internet protocol (IP)."
-- In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, FCC 98-67 ¶ 62 (April 10, 1998).


"The Internet is a distributed packet-switched network, which means that information is split up into small chunks or "packets" that are individually routed through the most efficient path to their destination. Even two packets from the same message may travel over different physical paths through the network. Packet switching also enables users to invoke multiple Internet services simultaneously, and to access information with no knowledge of the physical location of the server where that information resides."
--In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, FCC 98-67 ¶ 64 (April 10, 1998).
Today Show January 1994...What is the Internet?!

Caselaw

The Internet is a network of interconnected computers. Data transmitted across the Internet are broken down into small "packets" that are forwarded from one computer to another until they reach their destination, where they are reconstituted. See Orin S. Kerr, Internet Surveillance Law After the USA Patriot Act: The Big Brother that Isn't, 97 Nw. U. L. Rev. 607, 613-14 (2003). Each service on the Internet -- e.g., e-mail, the World Wide Web, or instant messaging -- has its own protocol for using packets of data to transmit information from one place to another. The e-mail protocol is known as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol ("SMTP").

United States v. Councilman, ___ F3d ___ at 3 (1st Cir. Aug 11, 2005)


The Internet is a network of computers that allows a user to gain access to information stored on any other computer on the network.   Information on the Internet is lodged on files called web pages, which can include printed matter, sound, pictures, and links to other web pages.   An Internet user can move from one page to another with just the click of a mouse.
-- Sporty's Farm L.L.C., V. Sportsman's Market, Inc., 202 F.3d 489, 492 (2nd Cir. 2000)



"The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers which allows individuals and organizations around the world to communicate and to share information with one another. The Web, a collection of information resources contained in documents located on individual computers around the world, is the most widely used and fastest-growing part of the Internet except perhaps for electronic mail ("e-mail"). With the Web becoming an important mechanism for commerce, companies are racing to stake out their places in cyberspace. Prevalent on the Web are multimedia "web pages"--computer data files written in Hypertext Markup Language ("HTML")--which contain information such as text, pictures,  sounds, audio and video recordings, and links to other "web pages." Brookfield Communications, Inc. v. West Coast Entertainment Corp., 174 F.3d 1036, 1044 (9th Cir.1999) (citations omitted).
-- Goto.com v. Walt Disney Corporation, 202 F.3d 1199 n. 1 (9th Cir. Jan 19, 2000) (holding that companies "goto" trademark was infringed by defendant's "go network" logo).


"The Internet, "an international network of interconnected computers," Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844, 117 S.Ct. 2329, 2334, 138 L.Ed.2d 874 (1997), developed from the ARPANET, a network the United States military created in 1969 to link its computers with those of defense contractors and universities. See 63 Fed.Reg. 31,741 (1998). The ARPANET, which no longer exists, served as a model for similar nonmilitary networks. See id.; see also 63 Fed.Reg. 8826 (1998). These networks eventually linked with each other and coalesced into the backbone of the modern Internet, see 63 Fed.Reg. at 8826, enabling tens of millions of people to communicate with one another and to gain access to vast amounts of information from around the world, see ACLU, 117 S.Ct. at 2334."
--Thomas v. Network Solutions, Inc., 1999 WL 300619, __ F.3d __ (D.C. Cir. May 14, 1999).

Morris released the worm into Internet, which is a group of national networks that connect university, governmental, and military computers around the country.
US v. Morris, 928 F.2d 504, 504 (2nd Cir. 1991)

The Internet is a global “network of networks” that allows Internet users to send and receive a huge diversity of content and communications. - CDT v. Pappert, No. 03-5051, Slip Op. at 8 (EDPa Sept. 10, 2004)



The Internet is a network of computer networks that links millions of public and private computers from the largest computer network in the world.  It enables millions of people to obtain and share information electronically.  -- British Telecom v. Prodigy, OO Civ 9451, Memorandum and Order Granting Summary Judgment (SDNY August 22, 2002)


The Internet is "a global electronic network, consisting of smaller, interconnected networks, which allows millions of computers to exchange information over telephone wires, dedicated data cables, and wireless links. The Internet links PCs by means of servers, which run specialized operating systems and applications designed for servicing a network environment."
-- Universal City Studios, v. Reimerdes, 111 f.Supp.2d 294, 306 (SDNY Sept 6, 2000)


"The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers which allow users around the world to communicate and share information. The Web, a collection of information resources contained in documents located on individual computers around the world, is the most widely used and fastest- growing part of the Internet, except perhaps for electronic mail ("e-mail")."
--Paccar, Inc. v. Telescan Technologies, 115 F.Supp.2d 772, 775 (August 25, 2000)


"The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers which allows individuals and organizations around the world to communicate and to share information with one another." Brookfield Communications, Inc. v. West Coast Entertainment Corp., 174 F.3d 1036, 1044 (9th Cir.1999); see also Name.Space, Inc. v. Network Solutions, Inc., 202 F.3d 573, 2000 WL 48668, at *12 n. 1 (2d Cir. Jan.21, 2000) ("The Internet is a vast system of interconnected computers and computer networks."). "The Internet is not a physical or tangible entity, but rather a giant network which interconnects innumerable smaller groups of linked computer networks. It is thus a network of networks." Jews for Jesus v. Brodsky, 993 F.Supp. 282, 287 n. 2 (D.N.J.1998) (internal quotations and citation omitted). The Web is a collection of information resources contained in documents located on individual computers around the world and is the most widely used and fastest-growing part of the Internet except perhaps for electronic mail or "e-mail." Brookfield, 174 F.3d at 1044 (citing United States v. Microsoft, 147 F.3d 935, 939 (D.C.Cir.1998)).  The Web contains multimedia "web pages"--computer data files written in Hypertext Markup Language ("HTML")--which contain information such as text, pictures, sounds, and audio and video recordings. See id.; Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844, 849-53, 117 S.Ct. 2329, 138 L.Ed.2d 874 (1997); Panavision Int'l, L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316, 1318 (9th Cir.1998). An Internet user can move from one web page to another with just the click of the mouse. Sporty's Farm L.L.C. v. Sportsman's Market, Inc., 202 F.3d 489, 490 (2d Cir.2000).
- OBH, Inc. v. Spotlight Magazine, 86 F.Supp.2d 176, 179 (WDNY Feb 28, 2000).


The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers which allows individuals and organizations around the world to communicate and to share information with one another.
-- Brookfield Communications, Inc. v. West Coast Entertainment Corp., 174 F.3d 1036, 1044 (9th Cir.1999)


The Internet is a global electronic network, consisting of smaller, interconnected networks, which allows millions of computers to exchange information over telephone wires, dedicated data cables, and wireless links. The Internet links PCs by means of servers, which run specialized operating systems and applications designed for servicing a network environment.
-- US v Microsoft, 84 F.Supp.2d 9, 13 (DDC Nov 5, 1999)


The "Internet" is a global computer network that connects a network of thousands of independent networks, containing several million "host" computers that provide information services. See ACLU v. Reno, 929 F.Supp. 824, 830 (E.D.Pa.1996), aff'd, 521 U.S. 844 (1997). Millions of individuals have some form of access to the Internet, and Internet access is ever increasing. The Internet is not owned by anyone, rather it is a cooperative venture, regulated by several volunteer agencies. See MTV Networks v. Curry, 867 F.Supp. 202, 203 n. 1 (S.D.N.Y.1994). A "web site" or "web page" is an Internet address which permits users to exchange digital information with a particular host, and the "World Wide Web" refers to the collection of sites available on the Internet. See Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King, 937 F.Supp. 295, 297 n. 1 (S.D.N.Y.1996). "Domain names" serve as a primary identifier of an Internet user. See Panavision Int'l, L.P. v. Toeppen, 938 F.Supp. 616, 618-19 (C.D.Cal.1996). Businesses using the Internet commonly use their business names as part of the domain name. Id. The designation ".com" identifies the user as a commercial entity. Id.
-- International Star Registry of Illinois, v. Bowman-Haight Ventures, Inc., 1999 WL 300285 (NDIll May 6, 1999)


The "internet" is a term describing a giant global network of millions of computers. These computers are linked principally by modems, which transmit electronic data over telephone lines. The internet is a means of exchanging information very rapidly. See Inset Sys., Inc. v. Instruction Set, Inc., 937 F.Supp. 161, 163 (D.Conn.1996); Maritz, Inc. v. Cybergold, Inc., 947 F.Supp. 1328, 1330 (E.D.Mo.1996).
-- LFG, LLC, v. Zapata Corp., 78 F.Supp.2d 731, 733 n. 1 (NDIll Jan 19, 1999) (addresing personal jurisdiction of court over defendant)


The Internet is a "giant network which interconnects innumerable smaller groups of linked computer networks." American Civil Liberties Union v. Reno, 929 F.Supp. 824, 830 (E.D.Pa.1996), aff'd 521 U.S. 844, 117 S.Ct. 2329, 138 L.Ed.2d 874 (1997) ("ACLU v. Reno "). Some networks are "closed" to other networks, but many are connected to other computer networks so that each computer in every network can communicate with computers on any other network in the system. Id. at 831. "This global Web of linked networks and computers is referred to as the Internet." Id.
Millenium Enterprises v. Millenium Music, 33 F.Supp.2d 907, 913 (DOr Jan 4, 1999) (discussing courts personal jurisdiction over defendant).


The Internet is a global network that links smaller networks of computers.
-- US v. Microsoft, 147 F.3d 935, 939 (DDC June 23, 1998)


"The Internet, as is well known, is a vast, interactive medium based on a decentralized network of computers around the world.  Its most familiar feature is the World Wide Web (the "Web"), a network of computers known as servers that provide content to users.  The Internet provides easy access to anyone who wishes to provide or distribute information to a worldwide audience; it is used by more than 143 million Americans.  Indeed, much of the world's knowledge accumulated over centuries is available to Internet users almost instantly.  Approximately 10% of the Americans who use the Internet access it at public libraries.  And approximately 95% of all public libraries in the United States provide public access to the Internet."  ALA v. United States, CA No. 01-1303, into (EDPA May 31, 2002).


The Internet is an international network of interconnected computers that enables tens of millions of people, if not more, to communicate with one another and to access vast amounts of information from around the world. See Reno v. American Civil fLiberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 850 (1997). Information on the Internet is housed on webpages.
-- Bihari v. Gross, No. OO Civ. 1664 (SAS), 1 (SDNY Sept 25, 2000) .


To understand fully the facts of this case and how they relate to the legal issues that the Court must resolve, some basic knowledge of the workings of the Internet and the World Wide Web (the "Web") is necessary.  "The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers which allows individuals and organizations around the world to communicate and to share information with one another."  Brookfield Communications, Inc. v. West Coast Entertainment Corp., 174 F.3d 1036, 1044 (9th Cir.1999);  see also Name.Space, Inc. v. Network Solutions, Inc., 202 F.3d 573, 2000 WL 48668, at *12 n. 1 (2d Cir. Jan.21, 2000) ("The Internet is a vast system of interconnected computers and computer networks.").  "The Internet is not a physical or tangible entity, but rather a giant network which interconnects innumerable smaller groups of linked computer networks.   It is thus a network of networks."  Jews for Jesus v. Brodsky, 993 F.Supp. 282, 287 n. 2 (D.N.J.1998) (internal quotations and citation omitted).
-- OBH, Inc., v. Spotlight Magazine, Inc., No. 99-CV-746A, 86 F.Supp.2d 176, 178-79 (WDNY Feb. 28, 2000).


With respect to the relevant geographic market in which competition takes place, the Court finds that the Internet cannot be defined with outer boundaries. It is not a place or location; it is infinite. The Internet is a "giant network which interconnects innumerable smaller groups of linked computer networks." Cyber Promotions, Inc., 948 F.Supp. at 459. The network "allows any of literally tens of millions of people with access to the Internet to exchange information."
-- AOL v. Greatdeals.net, 49 F.Supp.2d 851, 858 (EDVa May 4, 1999) (AOL sought injunction against spammer of its network).


16. The Internet is an international computer ³super-network² of over 15,000 computer networks which is used by 30 million or more individuals, corporations, organization and educational institutions worldwide. Users of the Internet can access each others computers, can communicate directly with each other (by means of electronic mail or ³e-mail²), and can access various types of data and information. Each Internet user has an address, consisting of one or more address components, which address is otherwise commonly referred to within the Internet as a ³domain² or ³domain name.²

-- PLAYBOY ENTERPRISES, INC. v. UNIVERSAL TEL-A-TALK, INC., ADULT DISCOUNT TOYS, and STANLEY HUBERMAN Civil Action No. 96-6961 November 2, 1998 Filed: November 3, 1998 (enjoining defendant from using Playboy trademark on or in its websites)



"The Internet has no territorial boundaries. To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, as far as the Internet is concerned, not only is there perhaps "no there there," the "there" is everywhere where there is Internet access. When business is transacted over a computer network via a Web-site accessed by a computer in Massachusetts, it takes place in Massachusetts, literally or figuratively, as it does anywhere. Digital Equipment Corp. v. Altavista Technology, Inc., 960 F.Supp 456, 462 (D. Mass 1997)."
-- Blumenthal v. Drudge, CA No. 97-1968 (DDC April 22, 1998).


""The term 'Internet' means the international computer network of both Federal and non-Federal interoperable packet switched data networks." 47 U.S.C. §230(e)(1). The Internet is "not a physical or tangible entity, but rather a giant network which interconnects innumerable smaller groups of linked computer networks." ACLU v. Reno, 924 F. Supp. 824, 830 (E.D. Pa. 1996), aff'd, 117 S.Ct. 2329 (1997). The "web" is a "vast decentralized collection of documents containing text, visual images, and even audio clips .... The web is designed to be inherently accessible from every Internet site in the world." Stephen Wilske and Teresa Schiller, International Jurisdiction In Cyberspace: Which States May Regulate The Internet?, 50 FED. COM. L. J. 117, 140 (1997)."
-- Blumenthal v. Drudge, CA No. 97-1968, note 6 (DDC April 22, 1998).


The Internet comprises a global network of computers linked together by communications lines. The World Wide Web refers to the collection of linked documents (a.k.a "websites") which have been posted on the Internet. An Internet user or "browser" may locate websites on this network by means of addresses known as "URL's," an acronym for "uniform source locations." An example URL is "http:// www.mcdonalds.com." Included in the URL is a domain name, which is comprised of at least two levels: (1) a top level (for example, ".com" or ".gov") that identifies the general nature of the site (".com" for commercial); and (2) a second level which is comprised of what appears immediately before the "dot" in ".com". Continuing with the original example, the second level consists of the term "mcdonalds". Trial Transcript, Anderson Direct, pp. 147-150, 168-171.
-- BellSouth Corp v. Internet Classifieds of Ohio, 1997 WL 33107251 (NDGa Nov 12, 1997)


The "Internet", as the term is used here, refers to the immeasurable network of computers interconnected for the purpose of communication and information exchange. This network can be accessed in a variety of ways, including through commercial "online services" such as American Online, Inc. These commercial services offer access to their own computer network and organizational software allowing subscribers to interconnect easily with computer networks other than those proprietary to the "online service." See American Civil Liberties Union v. Reno, 929 F.Supp. 824, 930-38 (E.D. Pa. 1996), prob. juris. noted, 117 S.Ct. 554 (1996) (explaining in considerable detail the creation, development, operation and private regulation of the Internet).
-- Zeran v. AOL, Civil Action 96-952-1, footnote 1 (ED VA March 21 1997) <http://www.bna.com/e-law/cases/zeran.html>


The Internet is "a giant network which interconnects innumerable smaller groups of linked computer networks." Id. at 830. In short, it is "a global Web of linked networks and computers ..." Id. at 831.
CyberPromotions v. AOL, 948 FSupp 456, 458 (EDPa Nov 26, 1996) (denying cyberpromotions attempt to enjoin AOL from using spam filtering technology)


    "The Internet today is a worldwide entity whose nature cannot be easily or simply defined. From a technical definition, the Internet is the 'set of all interconnected IP networks'--the collection of several thousand local, regional, and global computer networks interconnected in real time via the TCP/IP Internetworking Protocol suite...." Daniel P. Dern, THE INTERNET GUIDE FOR NEW USERS 16 (1994).
    One article described the Internet as a collection of thousands of local, regional, and global Internet Protocol networks. What it means in practical terms is that millions of computers in schools, universities, corporations, and other organizations are tied together via telephone lines. The Internet enables users to share files, search for information, send electronic mail, and log onto remote computers. But it isn't a program or even a particular computer resource. It remains only a means to link computer users together.

Unlike on-line computer services such as CompuServe and America On Line, no  one runs the Internet....

No one pays for the Internet because the network itself doesn't exist as a separate entity. Instead various universities and organizations pay for the dedicated lines linking their computers. Individual users may pay an Internet provider for access to the Internet via its server.

David Bruning, Along the InfoBahn, ASTRONOMY, Vol. 23, No. 6, p. 76 (June 1995).
-Religious Technology Center v. Netcom Online Communications Service, 907 F.Supp. 1361 n. 2 (NDCa Nov 21, 1995) (copyright holder brought action against Internet access provider seeking to hold provider liable for alleged infringement of provider's subscriber).



Computer networks are systems of interconnected computers that allow the exchange of information between the connected computers. The Internet is the world's largest computer network, often described as a "network of networks." The Internet is decentralized in that there is no central hub through which messages or information must be routed, and no central governing body. For a brief discussion of computer networks and their uses, see Edward Cavazos and Gavino Morin, Cyberspace and the Law: Your Rights and Duties in the On-Line World, 2-11 (1994). E-mail allows computer network users to send messages to each other which are received at an "electronic mailbox" identified by the recipient's unique user name and address. Id. at 5. A survey of Internet use conducted in October, 1994 counted 13.5 million consumer Internet users, and 27.5 million e-mail users. Peter H. Lewis, On the Net, New York Times, May 29, 1995, at 39. The survey tallied male users as outnumbering female users by a ratio of 2 to 1, and children aged seventeen and younger as constituting 2.3 percent of the users. Id.
-- United States v. Baker, 890 F.Supp. 1375 n. 1 (EDMich June 21, 1995) (dismissing charge of transmission of threat where message was transmitted over Internet email and court determined message did not constitute a 'true threat')


The Internet is a world-wide network of networks, made up of approximately 7 million computers interconnected through 60,000 networks, all sharing a common communications technology. Anthony M. Rutkowski, Federal News Service, July 27, 1995. It is decentralized in that there is no central hub through which information must be routed and no central governing body. United States v. Baker, 890 F.Supp. 1375 at 1379 n. 1 (E.D.Mich.1995). Started as a project by the Department of Defense, the Internet has expanded to include universities, government agencies, and commercial enterprises. There are currently over 25 million users worldwide accessing the Internet, and the numbers are doubling every year. MTV Networks v. Curry, 867 F.Supp. 202, 203 n. 1 (S.D.N.Y.1994). Users of the Internet can access such services as e-mail, Usenet newsgroups, file exchanges, and the "World Wide Web," a distributed hypertext information service, accessed using a "Web browser." Guardian, Sept. 1, 1994, at T8.
-- -Religious Technology Center v. Netcom Online Communications Service, 923 F.Supp. 1231 n. 2 (NDCa Sept 22, 1995) (copyright holder brought action against Internet access provider seeking to hold provider liable for alleged infringement of provider's subscriber).


"The Internet is the world's largest computer network (a network consisting of two or more computers linked together to share electronic mail and files). The Internet is actually a network of thousands of independent networks, containing several million "host" computers that provide information services. The Internet Unleashed 22-23 (Sams Publishing 1994). An estimated 25 million individuals have some form of Internet access, and this audience is doubling each year. Philip Elmer- Dewitt, Battle for the Soul of the Internet, Time, July 25, 1994, at 50. The Internet is a cooperative venture, owned by no one, but regulated by several volunteer agencies."
-- MTV Networks v. Curry,  31 Fed.R.Serv.3d 149 (SDNY Oct 28, 1994)  Summary:"Employer brought action against former employee, alleging trademark violations in connection with former employee's use of employer's marks in his Internet site, and breach of employment contract. Employee counterclaimed for breach of oral contract, fraud, and unfair competition. On employer's motion to dismiss employee's counterclaims, the District Court, McKenna, J., held that: (1) breach of contract counterclaim was not barred by statute of frauds; (2) employee pled fraud claim with sufficient particularity; and (3) employer was entitled to more definite statement with regard to employee's unfair competition counterclaim."

The Internet is a combination of several hundred million computer networks and associated sites which are interconnected throughout the world. The routers are computers dedicated to the interconnection of these networks…. A set of procedures was defined in the period between 1973 and 1980 under the control of the US defence research laboratories (DARPA). These procedures, referred to as TCP/IP, are the core of several hundred protocols used by the Internet.

- LICRA v. Yahoo!, Interim Court Order, ( County Court Paris Nov. 20, 2000 ) (as translated) http://www.cdt.org/speech/international/001120yahoofrance.pdf

Other Sources

IETF

"What is the Internet? In the beginning there was the ARPANET, a wide area experimental network connecting hosts and terminal servers together. Procedures were set up to regulate the allocation of addresses and to create voluntary standards for the network. As local area networks became more pervasive, many hosts became gateways to local networks. A network layer to allow the interoperation of these networks was developed and called Internet Protocol (IP). Over time other groups created long haul IP based networks (NASA, NSF, states...). These nets, too, interoperate because of IP. The collection of all of these interoperating networks is the Internet." - IETF RFC 1118, Hitchhikers Guide to the Internet (Sept 1989)

E Krol , E. Hoffman, RFC 1462, FYI on "What is the Internet" ? (May 1993) (" Today's Internet is a global resource connecting millions of users that began as an experiment over 20 years ago by the U.S. Department of Defense. While the networks that make up the Internet are based on a standard set of protocols (a mutually agreed upon method of communication between parties), the Internet also has gateways to networks and services that are based on other protocols. ")

IETF Request for Comments 1602

Early Uses of the Term

The protocol they invented is known by its initials, TCP/IP - standing for the mouthful Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol. It is significant historically for originating the use of the term Internet, in about 1973, as a handy abbreviation for the "inter-networking of networks." [Nerds p 111]

Federal Networking Council

"On October 24, 1995, the FNC unanimously passed a resolution defining the term Internet. This definition was developed in consultation with members of the internet and intellectual property rights communities.
RESOLUTION:
The Federal Networking Council (FNC) agrees that the following language reflects our definition of the term "Internet".

"Internet" refers to the global information system that --

(i) is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons;
(ii) is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and
(iii) provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein."

-- FNC Resolution: Definition of "Internet" 10/24/95

DOD DISA

"Internet protocol definition. This standard specifies a host IP. As defined in the DoD architectural model, the Internet Protocol resides in the internetwork layer. Thus, the IP provides services to transport layer protocols and relies on the services of the lower network layer protocol (See figure 1). In each gateway (a system interconnecting two or more subnets) an IP resides above two or more subnetwork protocol entities. Gateways implement internet protocol to forward datagrams between networks. Gateways also implement the Gateway to Gateway Protocol (GGP) to coordinate routing and other internet control information." Military Standard Internet Protocol MIL-STD-1777 Sec. 4.2 (DOD DISA Aug 12, 1983)

Other

The Internet is a worldwide network of networks comprised of servers, routers, and backbone networks. Network addresses are used to help send information from one computer to another over the Internet by routing the information to its final destination. The protocol that enables the
administration of these addresses is the Internet protocol (IP). The most widely deployed version of IP is version 4 (IPv4).

GAO, Internet Protocol version 6, Federal Agencies Need to Plan for Transition and Manage Security Risks (May 2005)


FTC:  "INTERNET - the universal network that allows computers to talk to other computers in words, text, graphics, and sound, anywhere in the world." - FTC, Site Seeing On The Internet June 1998



internet (Lower case i)
     Any time you connect 2 or more networks together, you have an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state.
Internet (Upper case I)
     The vast collection of inter-connected networks that are connected using the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the
     ARPANET of the late 60's and early 70's.
     The Internet connects tens of thousands of independent networks into a vast global internet and is probably the largest Wide
     Area Network in the world.
Glossary of Internet Terms, Matisse.Net

Public Internet

Compare

Internet = World Wide Web

The Internet, as is well known, is a vast, interactive medium based on a decentralized network of computers around the world.  Its most familiar feature is the World Wide Web (the "Web"), a network of computers known as servers that provide content to users.  -- ALA v. United States, CA 01-1303, Sec. I  (ED PA May 31, 2002) http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/02D0415P.HTM

The Internet is a network of computers that allows a user to gain access to information stored on any other computer on the network.   Information on the Internet is lodged on files called web pages, which can include printed matter, sound, pictures, and links to other web pages.   An Internet user can move from one page to another with just the click of a mouse.
-- Sporty's Farm L.L.C., V. Sportsman's Market, Inc., 202 F.3d 489, 492 (2nd Cir. 2000)
 

The Internet is an international network of interconnected computers that enables tens of millions of people, if not more, to communicate with one another and to access vast amounts of information from around the world. See Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 850 (1997). Information on the Internet is housed on webpages.
-- Bihari v. Gross, No. OO Civ. 1664 (SAS), 1 (SDNY Sept 25, 2000).

Before reciting the facts established by the evidence, I begin with a brief explanation of the relevant technology.  The Internet, or the World Wide Web, is a network of computers that allows people to access information stored on other computers within the network. See Sporty's Farm L.L.C. v. Sportsman's Market, Inc., 202 F.3d 489, 492 (2d Cir.2000).  "Information on the Internet is lodged on files called web pages, which can include printed matter, sound, pictures, and links to other web pages.  An Internet user can move from one page to another with just the click of a mouse."  Id. Web pages or web sites are designated by addresses called domain names.
-- Morrison & Foerster LLP, v. Brian Wick and American Distribution Systems, Inc., No. CIV.A.00-B-465., 94 F.Supp.2d 1125, 1126 (D.Co. April 19, 2000).
 

"Accordingly, we concluded that ISP traffic must be analyzed as a continuous transmission from the end user to a distant Internet website." In Re GTE Telephone Operators GTOC Tariff No. 1 GTE Transmittal No. 1148, Memorandum Opinion And Order, CC Docket No. 98-79 ¶ 3 (February 26, 1999), recon. denied (February 26, 1999).
 

"Having concluded that the jurisdictional treatment of GTE's ADSL service offering is determined by the nature of the end-to-end transmission between an end user and the Internet website accessed by the end user, we now must decide whether that transmission does in fact constitute an interstate telecommunication." -- In re GTE Telephone Operators GTOC Tariff No. 1 GTE Transmittal No. 1148, Memorandum Opinion And Order, CC Docket No. 98-79 ¶ 22 (February 26, 1999), recon. denied (February 26, 1999).

Consistent with these precedents,[36] we conclude, as explained further below, that the communications at issue here do not terminate at the ISP's local server, as CLECs and ISPs contend,[37] but continue to the ultimate destination or destinations, specifically at a Internet website that is often located in another state.[38]
[fn36] Although the cited cases involve interexchange carriers rather than ISPs, and the Commission has observed that "it is not clear that ISPs use the public switched network in a manner analogous to IXCs," Access Charge Reform Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 16133, the Commission's observation does not affect the jurisdictional analysis.
[fn37] See, e.g., ACSI Comments at 5; Adelphia, et al., Comments at 12-13; ALTS Letter at 6-7; Cox Comments at 5.
[fn38] This conclusion is fully consistent with BellSouth MemoryCall. Although MCI WorldCom relies on BellSouth MemoryCall to support its argument that the ISP is the relevant endpoint for purposes of the jurisdictional analysis (see Letter from Richard S. Whitt, Director -- Federal Affairs/Counsel, MCI WorldCom, Inc., to Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, FCC (October 2, 1998)), there, as here, the Commission analyzed the communication from its inception to the "transmission's ultimate destination." BellSouth Memory Call, 7 FCC Rcd at 1621.
--In Re Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Inter-Carrier Compensation for ISP-Bound Traffic, CC Docket No. 96-98, CC Docket No. 99-68, Declaratory Ruling ¶ 12 (February 26, 1999)

 

Internet Information Location tool

Internet information location tool.--The term ``Internet information location tool'' means a service that refers or links users to an online location on the World Wide Web. Such term includes directories, indices, references, pointers, and hypertext links.  -  Internet Tax Freedom Act, Pub. L. No. 105-277, Div. C, tit 11, § 1101(e)(3)(E)

Internet Protocol

The Internet Protocol was originally defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force in RFC 791.

-  

Notes

TCP Basic functions in header:

Basic end to end data transfer

Reliability

Flow Control

Error Correction

Multiplexing applications

integrity

UDP User Datagram Protocol

Basic function in header

Basis end to end data transfer

Multiplexing applications

Integrity

(no retransmission scheme)

Ports: Allows IP hosts to multiplex applications

Port 80 – web

Port 25 – email

Probably about 8000 defined ports – registered at www.iana.org

Sockets

Allow host to track simultaneous TCP connections

Combination of IP addresses and Ports for each process

IP Header

Basic Functions in header

Addressing

Fragmentation

Timeout

Higher level protocol identification (identifies next protocol – TCP, UDP,….)

IP protocol number

6 = TCP

50 = VPN

17 = UDP

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