RealTime IT News

Internet Pioneer Jon Postel Dead at 55

Jon Postel, 55, chairman of the Internet Assigned Number Authority, the government-contracted agency that oversees the domain name system, died Friday night after heart surgery in Los Angeles.

Postel was recovering from heart surgery to correct a heart valve problem.

Postel's sudden death complicates the Clinton administration's efforts to forge changes in the privatization of managing the global domain name system. Network Solutions Inc. currently has an exclusive government contract to assign Internet domains names.

As head of the Internet Assigned Numbers authority, Postel was extremely influential, but also came under fire from detractors.

On Oct. 2, Postel submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Commerce recommending that the domain system be administered by a non-profit group in California. Suggested members included top technology leaders such as Esther Dyson.

Postel is survived by four brothers and sisters, his mother and his partner.