Understand the voluntary origins of the internet. From ARPANET to the internet, this video reviews the major stakeholders and technologies that played pivotal roles in its development.
- [Narrator] It's important to understand that even though the idea of information security goes back many centuries, our present day technologies and the rules and institutions that govern them are fairly new. If you remember that the internet itself evolved from a collaborative, sometimes chaotic process, you'll understand how difficult it can be to create new rules for it today. The digital networks we now rely on had their origin in the early computers of the 20th century, and more recently in the academic and military researchers working in the 1960s.
The first collaborative effort emerged from the US military's Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA. It was called ARPANET. ARPANET relied on new protocols to move chunks of information digitally across long distance, a process known as packet switching. Beginning with just a handful of host sites, mostly on the American West Coast, ARPANET eventually spread to several dozen hosts across the country and eventually many more internationally.
Some of the most important research took place during the 1980s at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. This work was critical to turning what was essentially a private network of researchers into an open, public, and commercial space that all could join. The world's first website went live in 1991, meaning that the world wide web we know today is only a little more than a quarter century old. During this time we've experienced a global explosion in technological innovation that had its roots in this early internet, as well as other military and university advances in global positioning systems and artificial intelligence.
But the growth of the internet and its many networked technologies was not straightforward or without conflict. There are intense debates over how the world wide web and the much larger internet in which it sits could be managed or policed. Some argue it shouldn't be managed or policed at all. Others, usually governments in countries with less political and social freedom, seek to exercise a high level of control over content and rules about privacy.
What outside actors and rules apply is still very much up for grabs. Indeed, in 2014, the British computer scientist Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, credit as the founder of the world wide web, stated that we still needed a "Magna Carta for the web."