How the Internet Really Works is an accessible, comic book-like, illustrated introduction to how the internet works under the hood, designed to give people a basic understanding of the technical aspects of the Internet that they need in order to advocate for digital rights.
Comprehensive and presents the subject well. It will be very helpful to all people doing IML, digital literacy training, and other educational activities. — Stéphane Bortzmeyer (IETF)
How the Internet Really Works is a comic book-like introduction to the technical side of the internet, narrated by Catnip, a cute feline character. The book contains playful illustrations and concise explanations detailing transport protocols and basic internet infrastructure as well as larger technological concepts like security and privacy, algorithms, and internet governance. You will gain enough technical understanding to become knowledgeable about digital privacy concerns that affect every internet user.
The present book has no lesser goal than to […] lay the foundations of competence for a democratic, resilient and sustainable digital society.
— Linus Neumann (Chaos Computer Club)
ARTICLE 19 is an international non-profit organization that seeks to promote, develop, and protect freedom of expression, including access to information. Headquartered in London, with offices in Bangladesh, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, Senegal, Tunisia, Myanmar, and the USA, ARTICLE 19 works to bridge the knowledge gap about Internet infrastructure and why it matters for people.
.I […] really appreciate the author’s efforts to ensure the reader knows that we do have the power to influence and actively engage in global policy and internet governance even as civil citizens.
— Vanessa on GoodReads
How the Internet Really Works
120 Pages | size 8" x 10" (ca. 20 x 25 cm)
No Starch Press, San Francisco
ISBN 9781718500297 (hardcover)
ISBN 9781718500303 (ebook)
ARTICLE 19 English US Ulrike Uhlig
French — français
Connaissez-vous vraiment internet ? Protocoles, sécurité, censure, gouvernance.
Polish — polski
Internet. Jak działa naprawdę? Ilustrowany przewodnik po protokołach, prywatności, cenzurze i zarządzaniu
German — deutsch
Das Internet gehört uns allen! Protokolle, Datenschutz, Zensur und Internet Governance anschaulich illustriert
UPCOMING There are two more foreign language editions planned for 2022. Stay tuned.
9 June 2022 Publication of French edition
10 May 2022 Publication of Polish edition
24 November 2021 Publication of German edition
9 June 2021, 7:45pm UTC (2:45pm in New York) Meet us at RightsCon 2021. Our session is called "Can you explain how the internet really works?"
We would like to thank all these wonderful people and institutions:
The authors: Ulrike Uhlig, Mallory Knodel, Niels ten Oever, and Corinne Cath. For ARTICLE 19: Mehwish Ansari, Vidushi Marda, Amelia Andersdotter, Collin Kurre, Sophie Hall. For No Starch Press: Bill Pollock, Barbara Yien, Eric Lawrence, Michele Mangelli, Sally Peyrefitte, Betsy Dietrich, Annie Choi, Matthew Kim, Dapinder Dosanjh. Everyone who provided support and technical insight: Enrico Zini, Sandro Knauss, Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Anna Oswald, Christa Vlad, Aline Girard.
And to all those we might have forgotten: Thank you!
In 2018, we've printed a tabloid sized poster containing the book's chapter about the Tor network. This chapter has since evolved, and is different in the book from 2020. In 2021, the Torproject asked us to update the poster. Here it is: You can download «Catnip explains The Tor Network» (2021) and print it yourself.