Fragments - The Internet Protocol Journal - Volume 6, Number 3

Peter T. Kirstein Receives Postel Award

Peter Kirstein is this year's recipient of the prestigious
Jonathan B. Postel Service Award
. A founding member of the Internet Society, Professor Kirstein is one of the pioneers of the Internet and was directly involved with its development and evolution. He was awarded the Postel Service Award in recognition of his foresight, persistence and innovation in navigating international technical and political complexities, and thus enabling the global propagation of the Internet. The Postel Award was presented on July 16, during the 57th meeting of the
Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF) in Vienna, Austria.

"The Internet Society is pleased to recognize Peter's significant contribution to the development of the Internet by awarding him this year's Postel Award," said Internet Society President/CEO Lynn St. Amour. "His commitment to the evolution and growth of the Internet, particularly during the 1970s, made possible the global infrastructure we have today. And, his efforts continue, most recently working in the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia regions." Steve Crocker, noted Internet authority and chair of this year's Postel award committee, commented on Kirstein's foresight in laying the groundwork for the Internet's global scope. "Peter Kirstein saw that the future of networking lay in international cooperation and interconnection, and deftly organized the steps to make it happen. He used both technical and personal skills and enabled many others to do magnificent work."

In 1973, Kirstein established one of the first two international nodes of the ARPANET, playing a very active part in the ensuing SATNET activity, which covered five countries. His group continued to provide the principal Internet link between the UK and the US throughout the 1980s, during which time he was responsible for both the
domains. He continues to collaborate in US
Defense Advanced Research Agency
(DARPA) programs. He has led six European projects in computers and communications funded by the European Commission, and participated in twelve more. Currently, he is leading the
Silk Project
, which is providing satellite-based Internet access to the Newly Independent States in the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia. In June, he was awarded a
Commander, Order of the British Empire
, for his services to Internetworking research.

He has chaired the International Collaboration Board, which currently involves six NATO countries, since 1983, and served on the Networking Panel of the
NATO Science Committee
(serving as chair in 2001). He has been on Advisory Committees for the
Australian Research Council
, the
Canadian Department of Communications
, the German GMD, and the Indian
Education and Research Network
(ERNET) Project. Kirstein obtained his undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Engineering from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and was awarded a DSc in Engineering from the University of London.

Kirstein expressed his appreciation for the award and respect for Jon Postel's work, explaining, "Postel's efforts to ensure the successful development and deployment of the Internet was an inspiration to us all. His stewardship of the RFC series was essential to the successful development of the Internet. His conscientious and painstaking operation of the Domain Name System and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority were indispensable to the international growth of the system. I am particularly pleased to be recipient of an award in his name, and feel greatly honored to be considered worthy of having my activities linked with his memorial."

The Jonathan B. Postel Service Award was established by the Internet Society to honor those who have made outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community. The award is focused on sustained and substantial technical contributions, service to the community, and leadership. With respect to leadership, the nominating committee places particular emphasis on candidates who have supported and enabled others in addition to their own specific actions.

The award is named after Dr. Jonathan B. Postel, who embodied all of these qualities during his extraordinary stewardship over the course of a thirty-year career in networking. He served as the editor of the RFC series of notes from its inception in 1969, until 1998. He also served as the ARPANET "numbers Czar" and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority over the same period of time. He was a founding member of the
Internet Architecture
(IAB) and the first individual member of the Internet Society, where he also served as a trustee.

Previous recipients of the Postel Award include Jon himself (posthumously and accepted by his mother), Scott Bradner, Daniel Karrenberg and Stephen Wolff. The award consists of an engraved crystal globe and $20,000.

Internet Society
(ISOC) (
) is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1991 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. With offices in Washington, DC, and Geneva, Switzerland, it is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. ISOC is the organizational home of the IETF, the IAB, the
Internet Engineering Steering Group
(IESG) and other Internet-related bodies who together play a critical role in ensuring that the Internet develops in a stable and open manner. For over 12 years ISOC has run international network training programs for developing countries and these have played a vital role in setting up the Internet connections and networks in virtually every country connecting to the Internet during this time.

Deployment of Internationalized Domain Names

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN) recently announced the commencement of global deployment of
Internationalized Domain Names
(IDNs) [2,3,4], which will allow use on the Internet of domain names in languages used in all parts of the world.

In October 2002, the IESG approved the publication of a standardized way of integrating IDNs into the Internet's
Domain Name System
(DNS). After the proposed technical standard was published in March 2003, the ICANN Board endorsed an approach for implementation of the technical standard that had been developed cooperatively by ICANN and leading IDN registries.

Following up on the Board's endorsement, ICANN and the leading IDN registries finalized an agreed text of the principles to be followed in IDN registration activities. Those "Guidelines for the Implementation of Internationalized Domain Names" [1] were published. IDN registries adhering to the Guidelines will employ language-specific registration and administration rules that are documented and publicly available. These IDN registries will work collaboratively with each other and with interested stakeholders to develop the language-specific policies, with the objective of achieving consistent approaches to IDN implementation to maintain Internet interoperability for the benefit of DNS users worldwide.

The registries for the
(Japan), and
(Taiwan) country codes, as well as for the
generic top-level domains, have committed to adhere to the Guidelines. As authorized by the ICANN Board in March, registries seeking to deploy IDNs under their agreements with ICANN will be authorized to do so on the basis of the Guidelines. In addition, the ICANN Board has recommended the Guidelines to other registries, and encourages broad participation by registries, language experts, and others in consultative, collaborative, community-based processes to study and develop appropriate languagespecific IDN registration rules and policies.

As the deployment of IDNs proceeds, ICANN and the participating IDN registries have agreed to work together to review Guidelines at regular intervals based on their deployment experience, and to make any necessary adjustments.


[2] P. Faltstrom, P. Hoffman, A. Costello, "Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA),"
, March 2003.

[3] P. Hoffman, M. Blanchet, "Nameprep: A Stringprep Profile for Internationalized Domain Names (IDN),"
, March 2003.

[4] A. Costello "Punycode: A Bootstring encoding of Unicode for Internationalized Domain Names in Applications (IDNA),"
, March 2003.

The Internet Protocol Journal

Ole J. Jacobsen
, Editor and Publisher

Editorial Advisory Board

Dr. Vint Cerf
, Sr. VP, Architecture and Technology


Dr. Jon Crowcroft
, Marconi Professor of Communications Systems

University of Cambridge, England

David Farber

The Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Telecommunication Systems

University of Pennsylvania, USA

Peter Löthberg
, Network Architect

Stupi AB, Sweden

Dr. Jun Murai
, Professor, WIDE Project

Keio University, Japan

Dr. Deepinder Sidhu
, Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Director, Maryland Center for Telecommunications Research, USA

Pindar Wong
, Chairman and President

VeriFi Limited, Hong Kong

The Internet Protocol Journal
is published quarterly by the Chief Technology Office, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Tel: +1 408 526-4000


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Copyright © 2003 Cisco Systems Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.