Michael Beckerman, CEO of the Internet Association, which represents 36 global internet companies, was in Dublin this week to attend the 54th ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) meeting.

During his time in Ireland he held an event at Yahoo’s headquarters in Dublin where the Internet Association honoured Irishman Dennis Jennings for critical decisions he made in the 1980s that contributed to the emergence of the internet that we know today.

Specifically, Jennings made three key choices about the network’s architecture, each of which fostered its growth and global reach:

1. It would be a general-purpose research network, not limited to connection of supercomputers;

2. It would act as the backbone for the connection of regional networks at each supercomputing site;

3. It would use the ARPANET’s TCP/IP protocols.

Beckerman said that the internet giants his organisation represents are grappling for answers in the wake of the Schrems case and what it means for the management of data belonging to their European users.

He said that, more than anything, efforts should be made to keep the internet an open, global network.

“With the recent ECJ ruling on Safe Harbour and the effort to create a Digital Single Market in the EU, it is important that we have the conversations necessary to keep the internet an open and vibrant platform.

“Ultimately the internet is a global network, and without the great contributions of people from around the world, the internet would not be the success it is today.”

Words by John Kennedy