Growth of, Control of, and Access to the Internet

Essay by khanki2008High School, 10th gradeB-, December 2008

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The Internet started as a simple network that allowed researchers to communicate with each other over long distances. This eventually grew into the Internet as we know it today. With the advent of the Internet, many new opportunities have been presented. Businesses have a new way to advertise their products and reach their consumers. Likewise, consumers can browse products from the ease of their own homes. The Internet has revolutionized communication in the form of email. Information can be sent to anyone who has access to a computer and the Internet. The Internet allows people to express their feelings and emotions anonymously. However, governments have looked to control information from the Internet. This presents a battle between freedom of speech and censorship by the government. With the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, governments have increased the security in order to protect the people. However, this protection may come at the cost of free speech.

Historical PerspectiveThe history of the Internet revolves around four distinct aspects. There is the technological evolution that began with early research on packet switching and the ARPANET, and where current research continues to expand the horizons of the infrastructure along several dimensions. There is the operations and management aspect of a global and complex operational infrastructure. There is the social aspect, which resulted in a broad community working together to create and evolve the technology. Finally, there is the commercialization aspect, where research results are effectively transformed into a widely organized information infrastructure.

The idea of the Internet was first conceived by J.C.R. Licklider of MIT. He started the first social interactions that occurred through networking in August 1962. "He envisioned a globally interconnected set of computers through which everyone could quickly access data and programs from any site." This idea is the foundation of...