RealTime IT News

Googling Vint Cerf

Searching for Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the Internet, became a little bit easier today. You just have to go to Google. The head office, that is.

Google announced today that it hired Cerf as Chief Internet Evangelist. Cerf is widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of the Internet for the role he played in the development of the TCP/IP protocol that is the core underpinning of the Internet, and indeed all modern IP communications.

From 1976 until 1982, Cerf was employed by the United States Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is where he helps to co-design TCP/IP.

More recently Cerf has been the chief Internet strategist for MCI WorldCom where he has worked since 1982 (with a hiatus between 1986 and 1994). Cerf is also currently the Chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a role which is expected to continue while he is at Google.

In his role as Google's Chief Internet Evangelist, Cerf will help Google build the next generation of Internet applications, standards, systems and network infrastructure.

One of Cerf's most recent pet projects is the NASA-supported Interplanetary Network (IPN), which aims to create an Internet that reaches into space. He detailed the IPN in a 2004 interview with internetnews.com.

"Google has already made tremendous strides in making access to information on the Web a reality for users across the globe, but we're still in the Internet's early innings," Google's CEO Eric Schmidt said in a statement. "This medium will enjoy wider-spread use than television, radio or phones, and will ultimately expand beyond planet Earth."

How did Cerf end up at Google? According to a Google spokesperson, Vint Cerf is an old friend of Eric Schmidt.