[iDC] The internet that is not one

Zbigniew Lukasiak zzbbyy at gmail.com
Sun Jul 12 20:09:56 UTC 2009

On Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 8:45 AM, Andreas
Schiffler<aschiffler at ferzkopp.net> wrote:
> Hi Jodi,
> Definitely many many!
> Technology can be used to build as many physical networks as one wants - a
> cross-over RJ45 cable between two computers is considered a network with two
> nodes. Sensitive networks which are not connected to the http:// internet
> exist (military, etc.) - the question is really if they are completely
> disconnected and should be considered a separate network, since a single
> "bridge" which routes packets between two physically disconnected networks
> would make them a partially connected, thus a singular (in the widest sense)
> network. Even the OLPC's "Sneakernet" project is such a bridge. But
> practically there are surely many networks which are not reachable from your
> PC.
> Today's net - the one we use for emails like this one - is defined by its
> IPv4 or 4x1byte or 32bits address space used in identifying its
> communication participants, servers, clients, hosts, nodes, .... This is a
> logical construction which overlays the physical network and makes it usable
> through "addressability". While this could be called unique, it isn't since
> there is already a larger addressing scheme on the horizon which is IPv6. It
> is not commonly used yet since the global infrastructure (routers etc.) has
> not been sufficiently upgraded to support it, but again bridges between
> distinct IPv6 networks that use the IPv4 infrastructure (tunnels) exist.
> At yet another layer of abstraction - since we seldom use the internet using
> numeric addresses (have you ever used Google using ?)
> - a third form of the internet above wires and numbers exists. It is formed
> by the namespaces created through the Domain Name System (or DNS). We
> generally use the ICANN root nameservers for DNS, making it appear there is
> only  a single internet. But there are alternate namespace systems in
> operation, just check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_DNS_root.
> On top of all of this abstraction, there are additional "networks" created
> by protocols and server/client systems. Skype for example operates a form of
> network for the audio and video data streams between users which cannot be
> tapped into by outsiders - it is a private protocol mediated by proprietary
> servers. Many similar systems are in operation designed to create "overlay
> networks" that are invisible to the outsider (invisible in a sense of useful
> data, one can still detect traffic) - the business user would call them VPNs
> the filesharer Darknets.
> Sorry for all the techno blabber - but at that level there are definitely a
> multiplicity of "Internets" definable, although for most of our interactions
> we use only "the one".

If someone connects two computers with RJ45 cable it can be a net -
but it is not inter-net.  It is important to note the etymology of the
word - internet is something connecting many networks.  I don't think
anyone would put the name of internet on any network disconnected from
the global internet (even if it was running the Internet Protocol) -
and everything that is connected in any way is a part of the internet.

Zbigniew Lukasiak

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