From the late 1950s until the late 1980s, scientists in both the United States and the Soviet Union were working on computer networking in one form or another. Why did the US succeed where the Russians failed? That's the subject of a new book titled How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet by Benjamin Peters.
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Never say anything in an electronic message that you wouldn't want appearing, and attributed to you, in tomorrow's front-page headline in the New York Times. That was the advice of Colonel David Russell, head of the IPTO at DARPA in the mid-1970s and it still holds true today.
In 1997 Pope John Paul II declared Isidore of Seville the patron saint of the internet. Saint Isidore died in the year 636, long before the first host-to-host ARPANET connection in 1969. But Isidore did try to record everything ever known in an encyclopedia that was ultimately published after his death.
How long have intelligence agencies been keeping tabs on the internet? And what role did these agencies play in creating the internet we use today? For the most part, these kinds of questions have been relegated to comments sections on random blogs and the occasional tweet from researchers. So we're hoping to remedy that in whatever small way we can, starting with a look at the 1960s and 70s.
Thanks to recent confirmation that your every online move is being monitored, trust in the internet seems like it's at an all-time low. In fact, as we can see from an article published in 1973, we were acutely aware that the future of our interconnected world depended on confidence in the privacy and security of the network before it even existed.
Once upon a time, you could draw a map of the known internet. Here's what the world of networked computers looked like in 1977 when ARPANET was still just a huge government-funded science project. It's actually incredible that the network proliferated this much in the eight years after the first four-node network was established back in 1969.
Email is something many of us have only been using for the past 20 years, but its roots go back much, much further than that. The earliest traces of email even date back to the 1960s, and according to Wired, computer engineer Ray Tomlinson was responsible for many of email's earliest innovations, including the use of @ in email addresses.