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Internet’s ‘Father,’ Reps. Doyle, Upton Are CEA Patriots

Washington – The
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
presented its Digital Patriots Awards Wednesday night to Vinton G. Cerf, one of
the “Fathers of the Internet”; Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.); and Rep. Fred Upton
(R-Mich.) for their contributions to furthering CE technology and innovation.

Cerf, currently
VP/chief Internet technologist with Google since 2005, is the co-designer of
the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of
the Internet with his colleague Robert E. Kahn, and has received numerous other
awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

Cerf qualified the
longtime joke about Vice President Al Gore being a “father of the Internet,” by
saying, “As a Senator he [passed legislation] for the Internet to become
commercialized, and if that didn’t happen … we wouldn’t have the Internet at
our homes today.”

In acknowledging
his colleague Robert E. Kahn, Cerf said, “One Digital Patriot Award winner
does not a Digital Patriot Award make.”

And he noted that
CE products that operated without communications capabilities were wonderful,
but now “with Web connections … we have made a nation and world of information
producers and consumers.”

Rep. Doyle serves
on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which he has championed innovation
through the protection of “fair use” issues and has also been a congressional
leader in promoting the availability of reliable, affordable, high-speed
broadband Internet service in the U.S., according to CEA.

In his acceptance
speech Doyle discussed, among other things, fair use, saying, “I grew up with
turntables and LPs and I am still amazed that with my iPod I can download
hundreds of my favorite albums, top TV shows and movies in a handheld device.
In fact, I put my favorite albums on my iPod from my CDs, which is a typical
example of fair use. Most younger people describe it this way — ‘Duh.’ “

Rep. Upton is a
member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and Internet, which
has jurisdiction over newly emerging high-tech issues like telemedicine,
broadband deployment and the wiring of classrooms for Internet access. He has
been a long time proponent of DTV, along with other critical issues, CEA

He noted how
technology has changed and become more available since he worked for his congressman
years ago on Thanksgiving weekend, because the office had an electric
typewriter to write his resume and he couldn’t afford one at home.

Rep. Upton held
his BlackBerry and said that on 9/11, when he was in Washington,
“This [device] was the only way I could communicate with my wife to tell her
that I was still alive.”

The keynote
speaker of the evening was Ambassador Ron Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative,
who discussed free trade, fair trade and the Obama administration’s support for
free-trade pacts with Columbia, Korea and Panama under the right conditions.