November 11, 2012
The Government Didn't Build That!
According to government mythology, the world owes the existence of the internet to the government, and computer communications would not exist today without the government thinking up the idea of computer networks. This fairy tale is usually based on the claim that the first network using the technology used in today's internet was built for the government agency Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). It leaves out the inconvenient fact that ARPA's computer network was built not by government bureaucrats, but by Bolt Beranek and Newman, a private-sector firm in Massachusetts. The proponents of the government narrative typically suppress the role of BBN and also remain silent about the state of computer communications in the early 1960s. BBN not only built the network for ARPA, but also came up with the details of how to build it. According to Dave Walden, a member of the BBN team that built the network, they submitted a "fairly detailed design, including...(Read Full Article)