Internet Hall of Fame to induct top names in tech

Dozens of influential engineers, activists, and innovators are listed for second annual award ceremony, including J.C.R. Licklider, Jimmy Wales, and Aaron Swartz.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

What do Ethernet co-founder Bob Metcalfe, tech investor Marc Andreessen, and the late Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz have in common? They are new inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame.

The Internet Society announced the names of 32 influential people Wednesday who helped shaped the Web into what it is today. This is the second year for the annual event.

"This year's inductees represent a group of people as diverse and dynamic as the Internet itself," Internet Society President and CEO Lynn St. Amour said in a statement. "As some of the world's leading thinkers, these individuals have pushed the boundaries of technological and social innovation to connect the world and make it a better place. Whether they were instrumental in the Internet's early design, expanding its global reach, or creating new innovations, we all benefit today from their dedication and foresight."

The inductees are categorized into three separate groups. The Pioneers Circle recognizes people who were part of the early design and development of the Internet. Within this group are big names like the late computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider and Ethernet co-founder Bob Metcalfe.

Another group is the Innovators, who are recognized for making exceptional tech, commercial, and policy advances that allowed for the expansion of the Internet. In this group are Netscape co-founder and well-known investor Marc Andreessen, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation John Perry Barlow, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

Most notable on the Innovators list is information activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide earlier this year. The 26-year-old hacker had apparently battled depression for years and at the time of this death was facing felony charges for his alleged role in making MIT academic journal articles public.

The final group of inductees for this year's Internet Hall of Fame are the Global Connectors, who are recognized for making contributions to the global growth and use of the Internet. This group includes the late NASA computer scientist Barry Leiner and the Executive Director for the Association for Progressive Communications Anriette Esterhuysen.

The Internet Hall of Fame officially kicked off last year naming individuals from nine different countries, one Academy Award winner, and one Nobel Prize Winner. Among those named last year were well-known leaders like Tim Berners-Lee, Phil Zimmermann, Al Gore, and Vint Cerf.

The Internet Hall of Fame ceremony for this year will be held on August 3 in Berlin, Germany.