History of the Internet

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What we know today as the Internet began as a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project in 1969, which was designed to connect several research databases across the country. However, until the end of 1991, the advances were almost completely technical, as the goals set by those responsible in its growth were beyond what the hardware was capable of providing. In 1988, the Internet began to receive attention in the popular press, when the first documented computer virus was released at Cornell University. 1991 marked the beginning of the transition of the Internet as we know it today, with the National Science Foundation’s reinterpretation of its Acceptable Use Policy to allow for commercial traffic across its network, the development of the first graphic interfaces, the formation of the Internet Society, and the formation of ECHO (East Coast Hang Out), one of the first publicly available online communities. From 1992 to 1995, the concept of the Internet, the technology moved from primarily government and research usage to that of the general public. Terms such as “log on” and surf were born, along with perhaps every conceivable usage of the Internet, from commercial purposes to pornography. With the introduction of Mosaic, the first truly successfully graphic user interface for the Internet, popularity took off, even being proposed as a candidate for Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year”. Starting between 1994 and 1995 though, the perils of internet usage began to emerge, at first in the form of disrupting online business operations. The Internet, quickly dubbed as a new social system in which the newcomers, unaware of the existing rules, redefined what the Internet was all about. The final evolutionary stage, in ... ... middle of paper ... ...t those that seek to censor some of the information found on the internet. Nunziato (2009) concludes that in order to fulfill the Internet’s promise of being “the most participatory market-place of mass speech that this country-and indeed the world- has seen,” the companies that serve as gatekeepers for free expression need to be regulated to ensure that they fairly administer any censorship such that it “does not detract from the free speech values that are necessary to facilitate the public discussion and informed deliberation that democratic government presupposes and the First Amendment requires”. Works Cited Valovic, Thomas. (1999). Digital mythologies. Rutgers Univ Pr. Fischer, Hervé. (2006). Digital shock. Queen. Surratt, Carla. (2001). The Internet and social change. McFarland & Co Inc Pub. Nunziato, Dawn. (2009). Virtual freedom. Stanford Law Books.

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