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The Network Information Center (NIC), also known as InterNIC from 1993 until 1998, was the organization primarily responsible for
Domain Name System The Domain Name System (DNS) is the hierarchical and Decentralised system, decentralized naming system used to identify computers, Internet#Applications_and_services, services, and other resources reachable through the internet or other intern ...

Domain Name System
(DNS)
domain name A domain name is an identification string String or strings may refer to: *String (structure), a long flexible structure made from threads twisted together, which is used to tie, bind, or hang other objects Arts, entertainment, and media Film ...
allocations and
X.500 X.500 is a series of computer networking standards covering electronic directory service In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation ...
directory services. From its inception in 1972 until October 1, 1991, it was run by the Stanford Research Institute, now known as
SRI International SRI International (SRI) is an American nonprofit organization, nonprofit scientific research, scientific research institute and organization headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The trustees of Stanford University established SRI in 1946 as ...
, and led by Jake Feinler. From October 1991 until September 18, 1998, it was run by
Network Solutions Network Solutions, LLC is an American-based technology Technology ("science of craft", from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hell ...

Network Solutions
. Thereafter, the responsibility was assumed by the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN ) is an American multistakeholder group and nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or ...
(ICANN). It was accessed through the domain name internic.net, with email, FTP and World Wide Web services run at various times by
SRI Shri (; Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida, based on the ancient Brahmi ...
,
Network Solutions, Inc.
Network Solutions, Inc.
, and
AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a ...
. This website is still active today, operated by ICANN, and currently provides reference documents and information related to domain registration. The InterNIC also coordinated the IP address space, including performing
IP address An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label such as that is connected to a computer network A computer network is a set of s sharing resources located on or provided by . The computers use common s over to communi ...
management for North America prior to the formation of
ARIN The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is the regional Internet registry #REDIRECT Regional Internet registry#REDIRECT Regional Internet registry A regional Internet registry (RIR) is an organization that manages the allocation and ...
. InterNIC is a registered
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service mark
of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The use of the term is licensed to the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN ) is an American multistakeholder group and nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or ...
(ICANN).


SRI

The first central authority to coordinate the operation of the network was the Network Information Center (NIC). The NIC was based in
Doug Engelbart Douglas Carl Engelbart (January 30, 1925 – July 2, 2013) was an engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, ...
's lab, the
Augmentation Research Center SRI International's Augmentation Research Center (ARC) was founded in the 1960s by electrical engineer Douglas Engelbart to develop and experiment with new tools and techniques for collaboration and information processing Information processing ...
, at the Stanford Research Institute (now
SRI International SRI International (SRI) is an American nonprofit organization, nonprofit scientific research, scientific research institute and organization headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The trustees of Stanford University established SRI in 1946 as ...
) in
Menlo Park, California Menlo Park is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County San Mateo County ( ), officially the County of San Mateo, is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictiona ...
. In 1972,
Elizabeth J. Feinler Elizabeth Jocelyn "Jake" Feinler (born March 2, 1931) is an American information scientist. From 1972 until 1989 she was director of the Network Information Systems Center at the SRI International, Stanford Research Institute (SRI International). ...
, better known as Jake, became principal investigator of the project. The
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is a standards organization that oversees global IP address allocation, Autonomous system (Internet), autonomous system number allocation, DNS root zone, root zone management in the Domain Name Sys ...
(IANA) assigned the numbers, while the NIC published them to the rest of the network.
Jon Postel Jonathan Bruce Postel (; August 6, 1943 – October 16, 1998) was an American computer scientist who made many significant contributions to the development of the Internet, particularly with respect to Internet Standard, standards. He is known p ...

Jon Postel
fulfilled the role of manager of IANA, in addition to his role as the RFC Editor, until his death in 1998. The NIC provided reference service to users (initially over the phone and by physical mail), maintained and published a directory of people (the "white pages"), a resource handbook (the "yellow pages", a list of services) and the protocol handbook. After the Network Operations Center at Bolt, Bernek and Newman brought new hosts onto the network, the NIC registered names, provided access control for terminals, audit trail and billing information, and distributed Request for Comments (RFCs). Feinler, working with
Steve Crocker Stephen D. Crocker (born October 15, 1944 in Pasadena, California, United States) is the inventor of the Request for Comments series, authoring the first RFC and many more. He attended Van Nuys High School, as did Vint Cerf and Jon Postel. Crocke ...
,
Jon Postel Jonathan Bruce Postel (; August 6, 1943 – October 16, 1998) was an American computer scientist who made many significant contributions to the development of the Internet, particularly with respect to Internet Standard, standards. He is known p ...

Jon Postel
, Joyce Reynolds and other members of the Network Working Group (NWG), developed RFCs into the official set of technical notes for the ARPANET and later the Internet. The NIC provided the first links to online documents using the NLS Journal system developed at SRI's Augmentation Research Center. On the
ARPANET The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was the first wide-area packet-switching network with distributed control and one of the first networks to implement the Internet protocol suite, TCP/IP protocol suite. Both technologies ...
, hosts were given names to be used in place of numeric addresses. Owners of new hosts sent email to to request an address. A file named was distributed by the NIC and manually installed on each host on the network to provide a mapping between these names and their corresponding network address. As the network grew, this became increasingly cumbersome. A technical solution came in the form of the
Domain Name System The Domain Name System (DNS) is the hierarchical and Decentralised system, decentralized naming system used to identify computers, Internet#Applications_and_services, services, and other resources reachable through the internet or other intern ...

Domain Name System
, designed by
Paul Mockapetris Paul V. Mockapetris (born 1948 in Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts ...
. The Defense Data Network Network Information Center (DDN-NIC) at SRI handled all registration services, including the
top-level domain A top-level domain (TLD) is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System The Domain Name System (DNS) is the hierarchical and Decentralised system, decentralized naming system used to identify computers, ...
s , , , , , and . DDN-NIC also performed
root nameserver A root name server is a name server A name server refers to the server component of the Domain Name System (DNS), one of the two principal namespaces of the Internet. The most important function of DNS servers is the translation (resolution) of ...
administration and Internet number assignments under a
United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity ...
contract starting in 1984.


Network Solutions

In 1990, the
Internet Activities Board The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is "a committee of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and an advisory body of the Internet Society (ISOC). Its responsibilities include architectural oversight of IETF activities, Internet Standards Pr ...
proposed changes to the centralized NIC/IANA arrangement. The
Defense Information Systems Agency The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), known as the Defense Communications Agency (DCA) until 1991, is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) combat support agency composed of military, federal civilians, and contractors. DISA prov ...
(DISA) awarded the administration and maintenance of DDN-NIC, which had been managed by SRI since 1972, to Government Systems, Inc (GSI), which subcontracted it to the small private-sector firm
Network Solutions Network Solutions, LLC is an American-based technology Technology ("science of craft", from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hell ...

Network Solutions
. On October 1, 1991, the NIC services were moved from a
DECSYSTEM-20 The DECSYSTEM-20 was a 36-bit 36-bit computers were popular in the early mainframe computer A mainframe computer, informally called a mainframe or big iron, is a computer used primarily by large organizations for critical applications l ...
machine at SRI to a
Sun Microsystems Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Sun for short) was an American technology company that sold computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. M ...
SPARCserver The SPARCstation, SPARCserver and SPARCcenter product lines are a series of SPARC-based computer workstations and server (computing), servers in desktop, desk side (pedestal) and rack-based form factor configurations, that were developed and sold b ...
running
SunOS SunOS is a Unix Unix (; trademarked as UNIX) is a family of multitasking, multiuser Multi-user software is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. Th ...
4.1 at GSI in
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. By the 1990s, most of the growth of the Internet was in the non-defense sector, and even outside the United States. Therefore, the US Department of Defense would no longer fund registration services outside of the domain. The
National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent agency of the United States government Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group)The Independents were a group of ...

National Science Foundation
started a competitive bidding process in 1992; subsequently, in 1993, NSF created the Internet Network Information Center, known as InterNIC, to extend and coordinate directory and database services and information services for the NSFNET; and provide registration services for non-military Internet participants. NSF awarded the contract to manage InterNIC to three organizations; Network Solutions provided registration services, AT&T provided directory and database services, and
General Atomics General Atomics is an American energy and defense corporation headquartered in San Diego, California, specializing in research and technology development. This includes physics research in support of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion energy. The ...
provided information services. General Atomics was disqualified from the contract in December 1994 after a review found their services not conforming to the standards of its contract. General Atomics' InterNIC functions were assumed by AT&T.


Inappropriate domain names

Beginning in 1996, Network Solutions rejected domain names containing
English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), g ...

English language
words on a "restricted list" through an automated filter. Applicants whose domain names were rejected received an email containing the notice: "Network Solutions has a right founded in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to refuse to register, and thereby publish, on the Internet registry of domain names words that it deems to be inappropriate." Domain names such as "shitakemushrooms.com" would be rejected, but the domain name "shit.com" was active since it had been registered before 1996. Network Solutions eventually allowed domain names containing the words on a case-by-case basis, after manually reviewing the names for obscene intent. This profanity filter was never enforced by the government and its use was not continued by
ICANN The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN ) is an American multistakeholder group and nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or ...

ICANN
when it took over governance of the distribution of domain names to the public.


Transfer to ARIN and ICANN

The InterNIC project included Internet IP number assignment, ASN assignment, and reverse DNS zone (in-addr.arpa) management tasks until December 1997 when the
American Registry for Internet Numbers The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is the regional Internet registry for Canada, the United States, and many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands. ARIN manages the distribution of Internet number resources, including IPv4 and IPv ...
(ARIN) came into operation. At that time, responsibility for these tasks was transferred by the
National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent agency of the United States government Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group)The Independents were a group of ...

National Science Foundation
from the InterNIC project to ARIN via modification of the cooperative agreement with Network Solutions. The InterNIC Directory and Database services provided by AT&T were discontinued on March 31, 1998 after their cooperative agreement with NSF expired. In 1998, both IANA and InterNIC project were reorganized under the control of the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN ) is an American multistakeholder group and nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or ...

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN), a
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California
non-profit corporation A nonprofit corporation is any legal entity which has been Incorporation (business), incorporated under the law of its jurisdiction for purposes other than making profits for its owners or shareholders. Depending on the laws of the jurisdiction, a ...
contracted by the
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to manage a number of Internet-related tasks. The role of operating the DNS system was privatized, and opened up to competition, while the central management of name allocations would be awarded on a contract tender basis. In July 2010, the IAB and
Number Resource Organization #REDIRECT Regional Internet registry #REDIRECT Regional Internet registry#REDIRECT Regional Internet registry A regional Internet registry (RIR) is an organization that manages the allocation and registration of Internet number resources within a ...
agreed that
ICANN The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN ) is an American multistakeholder group and nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or ...

ICANN
should perform the in-addr.arpa zone technical management tasks, and this transition to ICANN was completed in February 2011.


In Popular Culture

In Uplink: Hacker Elite a database of InterNIC is featured. It can be also hacked in game and it ironically has no security.


See also

*
Regional Internet registry #REDIRECT Regional Internet registry#REDIRECT Regional Internet registry A regional Internet registry (RIR) is an organization that manages the allocation and registration of Internet number resources within a region of the world. Internet number ...
*
APNIC APNIC (the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) is the regional Internet address registry ( RIR) for the Asia-Pacific The Asia-Pacific is the part of the in or near the Western . Asia-Pacific varies in area depending on context, but i ...

APNIC
*
LACNIC LACNIC (Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre, Spanish: ''Registro de Direcciones de Internet para América Latina y Caribe'', Portuguese: ''Registro de Endereçamento da Internet para América Latina e Caribe'') is the regional ...

LACNIC
*
AFRINIC AFRINIC (African Network Information Centre) is the regional Internet registry#REDIRECT Regional Internet registry A regional Internet registry (RIR) is an organization that manages the allocation and registration of Internet number resources wi ...
*
ARIN The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is the regional Internet registry #REDIRECT Regional Internet registry#REDIRECT Regional Internet registry A regional Internet registry (RIR) is an organization that manages the allocation and ...
*
RIPE NCC RIPE NCC (Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre) is the regional Internet registry#REDIRECT Regional Internet registry A regional Internet registry (RIR) is an organization that manages the allocation and registration of Internet ...
*
Autonomous system (Internet) An autonomous system (AS) is a collection of connected Internet Protocol The Internet Protocol (IP) is the network layer In the seven-layer OSI model The Open Systems Interconnection model (OSI model) is a conceptual model A conceptual m ...


References


Further reading


"About the InterNIC"
archived web page from April 1996 * * Video of interview.


External links

* {{Authority control International telecommunications Internet governance organizations Internet Standard organizations * History of the Internet SRI International Organizations established in 1972 Organizations disestablished in 1998