History of Internet

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Without a doubt, the Internet is undergoing a major transition as it experiences a tremendous influx of new users. Due to the anarchic, distributed nature of the net, we cannot even begin to enumerate the population of the Internet or its growth. As more of the world's population moves on-line, new concerns will arise which did not confront the earlier generations. The new culture will demand different resources, services and technology than the old generations expected and used. Already we can witness a clash between the emergent culture and the entrenched culture. The largest conflicts occurring now are about sharing resources, the impending commercialization of the net, and the growing problem of computer crime.

The Internet was born in the union of government and researchers, and for two decades afterwards remained mostly the realm of those two groups. The net began as ARPANET, the Advanced Research
Projects Agency Net, designed to be decentralized to sustain operations through a nuclear attack. This nature persists today in the resilience of the net, both technologically and in its culture.
ARPANET was phased out in 1990 and the net backbone was taken over by NSFNET (National Science Foundation). Since 1969 the main users of cyberspace have been involved in research or in the university community as computer experts or hackers, exploring the limitations and capabilities of this new technology. These people formed a cohesive community with many of the same goals and ethics. In addition to the homogeneity of the net, the small size contributed to a strong feeling of community. There has been some conflict between the hackers and the researchers over sharing resources, and philosophies about security and privacy, but on the whole, the two groups have co-existed without major incident.

The newest of the members of the so-called old generation are the university users who are not involved in research work on the net.
Generally these are the students using the net for email, reading netnews and participating in interactive real-time conversations through talk, telnet or irc. This wave of people integrated smoothly with the community as it existed. Still sharing the common research and education orientation, the community remained cohesive and the culture did not change much, perhaps it only expanded in the more playful areas. These users did not compete ...

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...go. For many centuries after writing began, this skill was left in the hands of the educated elite - mainly the church servants. When literacy finally came to the majority of the middle class and some of the lower class, the
Renaissance began. Similarly, we are witnessing the opening of a new medium of information to the general populace, and we can only guess at the outcome.


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