Codebreaker

Web superpowers gather in Hall of Justice to update nuts-and-bolts of the Internet

Jeff Horwich Mar 30, 2012
Codebreaker

Web superpowers gather in Hall of Justice to update nuts-and-bolts of the Internet

Jeff Horwich Mar 30, 2012

“HTTP” is due for an upgrade. Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the long-time lingua-franca of the web. The best way to describe it is the code by which a requester of digital content and a holder of digital content talk to one another to execute the hand-off. Making it better — or substituting it with something better — will speed things up for everybody, and so the Internet Engineering Task Force has met this week to consider how it’s to be done.

Google and Microsoft, among many others, have offered proposals that both compete and overlap to some degree — both have developed protocols of their own that are already in limited use. It’s another fascinating example of how the multilateral, non-state-based institutions of Internet governance shape how the entire world communicates.

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