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CONTACT: Patrick Ross
January 3 , 2005
(202) 289-8928

Internet Co-Founder Speaks Jan. 12
TCP/IP Co-Developer Kahn on Information Management on the Net

WASHINGTON D.C. - Robert Kahn, founder and president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), is the first featured speaker in The Progress & Freedom Foundation's "Innovation Agenda 2005" CEO Lunch series. Kahn will discuss hot-button Internet policy topics concerning Internet governance, the Internet standards process, evolution of the Internet, and the role of the "Digital Object Architecture" in managing information on the net. Questions will be generated by a panel of top industry analysts. The event is January 12, from 12:00 to 2:00 pm at the Mandarin Oriental hotel at 1330 Maryland Avenue, SW.

Kahn, along with Vint Cerf, developed the TCP/IP protocol for the U.S. Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the early 1970s, and that open protocol has allowed the Internet to become what it is today. In 1986, Kahn founded CNRI to pursue research and development for the national information infrastructure. One initiative CNRI has launched, known as the digital object architecture, in an open architecture for information management that allows data structures (called Digital Objects) to be identified by unique, persistent identifiers called handles. Handles are resolved by a scaleable, distributed system called the "Handle System." This system is similar in some ways to the Domain Name System, but it differs in that it identifies data structures rather than just wires, machines, or files. Digital Objects may be mobile or stored in one or more "Repositories."

"The idea is that you can invest in creating information independent of platforms and where you store it or make it available," Kahn says. "Anyone can find it, with certainty, not with the ambiguity of a search engine or dependency on some web site." The Handle System also eliminates broken hyperlinks and avoids fights for "space" in the DNS system. While more than 15 million handles are now registered, the Handle System finds itself subject to many of the kinds of issues inherent with DNS. Kahn will address these issues in his speech and in his discussion with the panel of analysts.

CNRI is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1986 to foster research and development for the National Information Infrastructure. Among CNRI's major goals is a program of research to identify and nurture infrastructural technologies and services that will unlock the potential of information and knowledge along with technology itself. CNRI promotes various collaborative activities that create productive synergies among government agencies, universities, and private organizations; undertakes targeted research in technologies for management of digital objects and high-speed networking; design/fabrication support for MEMS and nanotechnology; and supports various educational initiatives in the public interest.

Those interested in attending the CEO Lunch should register online. Media queries should be directed to Patrick Ross at 202-289-8928 or Other queries should be directed to Eileen Goulding at 202-289-8928 or

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation