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(Re)Designing the Internet: A critical constructivist analysis of the next generation internet protocol

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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By means of an analysis of texts that document the design of the next generation Internet Protocol (IPng, IPv6) this thesis examines the direction and extent to which participants in this process influenced the IPng design. The analysis suggests that many IPng design participants were commercially oriented. The military and groups that focused on IPng support for particular technologies also took part. In contrast, state and civil society participation was notably nonexistent. The problems and concerns of commercial, military, and technology oriented groups were largely accommodated by the eventual IPng design. Issues of focus traditionally foregrounded by the state and civil society did not inform the design process. Initial IPv6 implementations will clarify and define in greater detail the IPv6 design. Given the potential of IPv6 to drastically alter the Internet and its use, this implementation process presents a strategic opportunity to define the direction of Internet development.
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