Who had an e-mail address in Soviet Union ?
This map was made with data extracted from the Soviet UUCP map, in its summer 1991 version. The Unix-to-Unix Copy Protocol (UUCP) refers to a suite of computer programs and protocols allowing remote execution of commands and and based on mutual cooperation. Reaching a remote computer in UUCP net required to know exactly the path data would follow. For example, reaching a computer located in Moscow from Novosibirsk required to know addresses of the machines the data would go through between these two cities.
As the shape of the network was constantly changing, an effort rapidly emerged to build a map of the connections between machines. Each system administrator would submit, by e-mail, a list of the systems to which theirs would connect, along with a ranking for each such connection. These submitted map entries were processed by an automatic program that combined them into a single set of files describing all connections in the network. These files were then published monthly in a newsgroup dedicated to this purpose. The UUCP map files could then be used by software such as « pathalias » to compute the best route path from one machine to another for mail, and to supply this route automatically. The UUCP maps also listed contact information for the sites, and so gave sites seeking to join UUCPNET an easy way to find prospective neighbors.
In Soviet Union, UUCP map was managed by engineers working at the Kurchatov Institute for nuclear researches. They were closely working with people from Relcom, the first Soviet ISP.