The April Fool Archive

Kremvax    (April Fool's Day - 1984)

A message distributed to the members of Usenet (the online messaging community that was one of the first forms the internet took) announced that the Soviet Union was joining the network. This generated enormous excitement, since most Usenet members had assumed cold war security concerns would prevent such a link-up.

The message purported to come from Konstantin Chernenko (from the address [email protected]) who explained that the Soviet Union wanted to join the network in order to "have a means of having an open discussion forum with the American and European people."

The message created a flood of responses, but two weeks later its true author, a European man named Piet Beertema, revealed it was a hoax. It is credited with being the first hoax on the internet. Six years later, when Moscow really did link up to the internet, it adopted the domain name 'kremvax' in honor of the hoax.

Kremvax Haiku (Submitted by Hoax Museum visitors)
Web unites old opponents?
Won’t get fooled again!
(by Paul)

More content from the Hoax Museum:


Not funny, but definately Very Cool!
Posted by Jennifer  on  Thu Apr 01, 2004  at  10:37 AM
Read more, from and about Piet: 😊 😊 😊 😊
Posted by Ruud H.G. van Tol  on  Tue Sep 21, 2004  at  02:59 PM
More information about this can be found at
Posted by Lukas Mai  on  Sat Apr 02, 2005  at  04:46 PM
I believe the company that connected the Soviet Union to the Internet was SovAm Teleport which received technical services from Mark Graham.

A year later when there was an attempted coup in the Soviety Union, one of the only sources of news going into the Soviet Union was that e-mail link.

That was one of the first 'high profile' moments for the Internet in the pre-hype
Posted by Ken  on  Sat Apr 02, 2005  at  08:39 PM
Does this have anything to do with the prank version 4.2bsd, Bolshevik Siberian Distribution?
Posted by Kaleberg  on  Thu Mar 29, 2007  at  07:11 PM
as mentioned in the hacker's dictionary link above, a hilarious coda to the joke is that once there actually was a machine called kremvax, no one believed it.
Posted by akb427  on  Sat Jan 05, 2008  at  03:13 AM
Classic, not really funny till the end though.
Posted by Matt  on  Tue Apr 01, 2008  at  10:07 PM