The Story Begins...

Submitted by anna on Wed, 2006-11-15 11:04.


  • GN established with the objective: "To provide to the Green Movement in the widest sense the sort of communications capability normally available only to the government, military or multi-nationals".
  • agreement with Earthlife (an environmental charity) that GN becomes its non-profit subsiduary and
  • a letter of recommendation from GreenNet which helped bring other groups online. main function of GN: network for electronic mail.
  • 2 full-time staff: Mitra (the founder of GreenNet) and Geoff Cohen.
  • collaboration with other countries: USA (PeaceNet), Germany (APOC), Canada (AlterNet), developing countries.
  • GreenNet users: e.g. Greenpeace, New Internationalist magazine, Survival International, International Youth Exchange, Amnesty International, Friends of the Earth.
  • services included all the services of GeoNet (an international network of mailbox hosts): i.e. electronic mail and telex; access to conferencing; bulletin board facilities and access to over 50 databases and consultancy.
  • GN is funded by donations from its users and by joint projects with other groups


  • GreenNet moved in to Underwood Street with FoE and provided many services to non-profits, including what we believe was the first internet-cafe in London where you could pay an hourly fee to access online resources.
  • A grant from The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) was given to GreenNet specifically to expand our reach to the Peace movement, in recognition that supporting GreenNet was the best way to support their other grantees.
  • The first transatlantic computer link up for information exchange outside of the military takes place between IGC (then known as PeaceNet/Econet) in the US and GreenNet in the UK.
  • Winter 1987: The United Nations University for Peace Global Computer Network (UPGCN) was inaugurated in a special two hour television programme shown nationwide across the US on Christmas Day, featuring representatives from Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Survival International, GN and PeaceNet, Peter Gabriel and Steve van Zandt held a concert to raise money for a worldwide network for peace and decided to work with GN. Other musicians included: Howard Jones, Lou Reed and Jackson Brown.
  • The launch of the Musicians for Peace UPGCN benefit concert video, "Hurricane Irene", released on Virgin Video and screened in England on ITV, was dedicated to GreenNet.


  • Discussions began around the idea of an international network and the name Association for Progressive Communications or APC was thought up.


  • APC founded by IGC (USA), GreenNet (UK), NordNet (Sweden), Web Networks (Canada), IBASE (Brazil), Nicarao/CRIES (Nicaragua), and Pegasus (Australia)
  • GNFido gateway established at GN providing the first means of exchanging email between email hosts in Africa and the rest of the world. By 1994, GNFido provided Internet gateway services to over 50 small email hosts in Africa, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe.


  • Earth Summit (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro: providing communications services during the conference - GN was involved as a member of the APC.


  • GN/Antenna, encouraged by Jagdish Parikh, established ‘Asialink’ project providing start up funding and technical support to small hosts in Asia working with social movements in their countries.
  • In June a team of staff and volunteers from the APC (including from GN) attended the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna working to enable participants and non-participants alike to access current documents and reports coming out of the conference.


  • GN attended the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in Beijing and formed part of a multilingual, multicultural team of 40 women from all regions of the world who staffed and maintained the communications centres of the conference.


  • GN campaign against the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill
  • Dec: GN co-sponsored the Big Brother Awards (Privacy International’s Third Annual UK Awards)
  • Dec 00/Jan 01: GreenNet Voted Best Buy
    From the Ethical Consumer magazine Dec 00/Jan 01 issue: EC selected the 10 largest UK ISPs and 2 alternative ISPs (GreenNet and Poptel) to highlight ISP performance looking at: environmental reporting, pollution, nuclear power, animal testing, factory farming, other animal rights, oppressive regimes, workers' rights, irresponsible marketing, armaments, genetic engineering, boycott call.
    "GreenNet scored top rating in all categories and is voted as the best buy, followed by Poptel and WorldOnline."

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