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History of the First Internet 396

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the really-we-swear dept.
U96 writes "Ever since the Gore claim to have "invented" the internet, its history has been the subject of misinformation and ridicule. The Institue of Internet History contains an accurate, in-depth examination of the early industrial origins of the internet. An interesting read..."
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History of the First Internet

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  • I don't seem to be able to load the link... it can't be slashdotted already, can it? :P
    • Pah, Gore might have "invented" the Internet, but Dubya invented lots of Internets! Internets on the house for everyone!
      • Isn't there an Internet 2 now? Doesn't that mean there are not multiple internets?
        • by LinuxHam (52232) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @01:49PM (#11002261) Homepage Journal
          Doesn't that mean there are not multiple internets?

          I have a family member who worked for the defense contractor CSC for many years. Over lunch one day, he told me that there are at least five "global Internets" that he knows of.. and how the govt gave the worst one to the public to play with. He went on to describe how they have separate military and public computer and phone networks wired into the building and to each person's desk. And never the two shall meet. They call it the "dark side" and the "light side". I asked him what would happen if an email intended for the "light side" ever ended up in his "dark side" inbox. He replied that guys in dark sunglasses would probably be there a few minutes later.

          I saw their kerberos keyserver.. he had to go through three swipe card doors to get back there, and I couldn't get within five feet of the console.
      • I don't get it, why do people pick on Dubya for pluralizing the word? There was more than one Internet at the time he made that quote, was there not? Last time I checked, you didn't need to have three of something before you could use the plural form.
    • Our newly re-elected Dear Leader will find a good 'reason' to take it away. [washingtontimes.com]

    • by Raul654 (453029) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @01:23PM (#11002121) Homepage
      My advisor (David Mills [udel.edu], first chairman of the Internet Architecture Committee and inventor of NTP) mentioned this once. He said that Al Gore's staff were at every technical meeting related to internet development, and that the funding Gore helped push through Congress was critical to the project. Furthermore, he said after that quote was widely distorted in the media (where Gore rightfully claimed credit for providing the funding), he and several others who *did* invent the internet signed a public affidavit attesting to the veracity of the claim.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Look it up. Gores crazy idea for funding this so called "internet" and opening it up for the public sector to use and build upon was OPPOSED by Cheney, both BILLS.
    • Sorry, dude, Al Gore said: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. "

      Now, most intelligent people know he was talking about funding. But that quote is exactly what he said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer. Read the transcript here: http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/03/09 / president.2000/transcript.gore/index.html [cnn.com]

      Was the quote blown out of proportion? You bet. But Gore should have been clever and said "funding the Internet" or "cre

  • wow, irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:33PM (#11001828) Homepage
    Ever since the Gore claim to have "invented" the internet, its history has been the subject of misinformation and ridicule.

    Considering Gore never claimed to have invented the internet, you've actually managed to include misinformation in a sentence criticizing misinformation. Well done.
  • by swordgeek (112599) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:34PM (#11001829) Journal
    Al Gore NEVER CLAIMED TO HAVE INVENTED THE INTERNET!!!

    NEVER!

    NOT ONCE!

    He did claim to have pushed for financing of it, which led to the development of it beyond its original boundaries. This is actually true! But he never claimed to have invented the internet.
    • link [sethf.com]
      He may not have meant for it to come out like he invented the Internet, but it sure sounds like it:

      Why should Democrats, looking at the Democratic nomination process, support you instead of Bill Bradley, a friend of yours, a former colleague in the Senate? What do you have to bring to this that he doesn't necessarily bring to this process?

      GORE: Well, I will be offering -- I'll be offering my vision when my campaign begins. And it will be comprehensive and sweeping. And I hope that it will
      • But of course, analysis by sarcasm aside, Gore did take the initiative in creating the Internet. He was the one who proposed funding for it, he submitted the bill, he fought for it, he went around the country educating people on it, he worked closely with the technologists, he helped to get the Pentagon to agree (crucially important for historical reasons, since the internet backbone was built on a previously existing Defense network).

        So, in fact, Gore did take the lead in CREATING the Internet. He absol
      • To reply to everyone who replied to me, I was not implying that I believed that he did invent the Internet, just saying that it does appear that he says that, and how it could be construed to sound like he did.
      • by Jeremi (14640) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @01:21PM (#11002115) Homepage
        He may not have meant for it to come out like he invented the Internet, but it sure sounds like it


        And that's close enough for a good smear campaign, isn't it?


        If you ever wonder why politicians so often sound like robots when they are speaking in public, this is why: because they have to constantly watch every single word they utter, to make sure that nothing they say (and no subset of anything they say) can be taken out of context and twisted against them. So instead of just speaking their position, they have to run this expensive (O(N^2)) political-defense algorithm on everything they say -- and since very few people can run that algorithm in real time, most politicians end up just repeating a few pre-vetted canned phrases over and over again.

      • Only if you decide not to pay attention to any of the context, such as the next sentence about "moving forward a whole range of initiatives"... My criticism of this sentence wouldn't be the standard one, it would be that he said he took the initiative in moving initiatives. That's a little too dense.
  • Poor Al (Score:3, Funny)

    by bigtallmofo (695287) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:34PM (#11001838)
    First the 2000 election was stolen from him, now the vast right-wing conspiracy is attempting to defrock him of his Internet-Inventor title.

    When will Republicans stop picking on this man?
    • Re:Poor Al (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Whoever modded this as insightful, please go play in traffic, and may god have mercy on your soul.
    • When will Republicans stop picking on this man?

      Pick one:
      When he becomes Republican.
      When he stops running for public, private, or any other office.
      When he actually stops doing things that can easily be picked on in a 2 second sound bite.
      When the Democrats finally give up.
      When Mrs. Clinton comes into the spotlight (along with the next Mr. Lewinsky) (Zing!)

      -Adam
  • What claim? (Score:4, Informative)

    by gabe (6734) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:35PM (#11001840) Homepage Journal
    • They proved themselves to be partisan hacks before. [snopes.com] And if in you're in the 'truth' business you don't do what they did to Michael Moore and remain trusted.

      Granted, that article is correct, but their credibility was killed long ago.
      • by Jeremi (14640) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @01:14PM (#11002076) Homepage
        Hey, it's the Karl Rove two-step, right here on Slashdot!
        1. Smear your opponent with a distortion, exaggeration, or outright falsehood.
        2. If anyone attempts to correct your distortion, find some tidbit from their past that can be used to prove they are "biased" and "untrustworthy" and loudly accuse them of partisan hackery. You can do this regardless of whether their current argument is valid or not -- that's too fine a distinction for the audience to care about.


        At this point, the debate will move to discussing whether or not the countering party is trustworthy or not. Now no matter which way this debate goes, you've won! Your original accusation is now taken for granted, and another if the third party ever tries to correct your accusations again, you can now point to the current "debate" (that you just manufactured) to discredit them (and change the subject) even more quickly the next time.


        Granted, that article is correct, but their credibility was killed long ago.


        See, it works! No need to discuss facts anymore -- just say that the messenger has no credibility, and the facts are irrelevant!

        • The concept is very simple its "how can I trust them as a blind authority after they've been discredited." The page I linked it is very nice to Mr. Moore but what it had in its place was a mean spirited attack from so called impartial researchers.

          Long story short, they got a lot of mail and complaints, and then had to take down their anti-Moore diatribe and put up an apology. Their original page, which was factually wrong and easily to refute, was up for weeks if not months.

          So people tell me "Check snope
          • So people tell me "Check snopes, they're impartial" but I say they might not be (at least when it comes to partisan politics). In other words we're forced to have faith in them. Forgive me for being skeptical after watching this whole thing play out on the net with the snopes people.

            Obviously there is no such animal as an "impartial source". Everything human made is inherently biased.

            To get an unbiased view on a story you would have to know all facts related to that story in depth. This is impossible how
      • From that article: "Michael, if you're out there, please know that I am sorry for having said hurtful things."

        Yeah, a partisan hack would say that.
        • Only after quite a bit of controversy and complaints did they bother to do this. In other words, their readership was in the Michael Moore demographic (or whatever you call it) so they folded to keep readership and trust, even after proving to be petty and untrustworthy. The original page was up for weeks if not months. And it was linked to all over the place and was an isssue of international importance.

          This is another issue where "Blogs" and "new media" fail to be the watchdogs or the "better media" th
      • by oobob (715122) *
        I can't figure out why so many Bush supporters earnestly defend the president for speaking clumisly, saying that we shouldn't judge him for it, and then vow to never forgive this one (mis)quoted sentence of Al Gore's that, while technically true and true in some sense of his meaning, is a little too broad. Not to suggest the Democrats aren't guilty of the same: most of politics revolves around these gaffes. This leads me to a bigger point. In these stupid squabbling matches (which human error gives us t
    • Thank you for the transcript link. I think I can see how the words:

      "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

      could be taken out of context. I mean, it has the participle 'creating' which is conceptually similar to 'inventing' in my mind. He could have said "ensuring that the development of the Internet had the funding it deserved", but that's not so snappy.

      I think it's just the way things are that there's a tendency towards ambiguous statements in

  • by dextromulous (627459) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:36PM (#11001846) Homepage
    Gore has ridden the mighty moon worm.
  • Al Gore's Internet (Score:3, Informative)

    by jea6 (117959) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:36PM (#11001847)

    Claim: Vice-President Al Gore claimed that he "invented" the Internet.

    Status: False.

    Origins: No, Al Gore did not claim he "invented" the Internet, nor did he say anything that could reasonably be interpreted that way. The derisive "Al Gore said he 'invented' the Internet" put-downs are misleading distortions of something he said (taken out of context) during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "Late Edition" program on 9 March 1999. When asked to describe what distinguished him from his challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Gore replied (in part):

    During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
    http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.htm [snopes.com]
  • dnsalias? (Score:3, Informative)

    by fembots (753724) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:37PM (#11001854) Homepage
    I don't think anything can survive with a dnsalias address.

    Coralized Pages [nyud.net] here.
  • by sg3000 (87992) * <sg_public@m[ ]com ['ac.' in gap]> on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:38PM (#11001861)
    Gore never claimed to have "invented" the Internet. In fact, the claim that Gore claimed to have invented the Internet should be on the list for the impressive "Institue".

    What Gore said is that in an 1999 interview with Wolf Blitzer, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." As Al Franken wrote [amazon.com]:

    > The phrase "invented the Internet" first appeared in a
    > Republican Party press release and would be repeated by the
    > "liberal" press thousands of times during the campaign.

    Snopes the urban legend debunking website reported [snopes.com] on this as well:

    > Claim: Vice-President Al Gore claimed that he "invented" the
    > Internet.
    > Status: False.
    > Origins: No, Al Gore did not claim he "invented" the Internet,
    > nor did he say anything that could reasonably be interpreted
    > that way. The derisive "Al Gore said he 'invented' the Internet"
    > put-downs are misleading distortions of something he said
    > (taken out of context) during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on
    > CNN's "Late Edition" program on 9 March 1999.

    As the Boston Globe [Oct 17,2000] reported:

    Gore did provide early support for the technology - even if he puffed up his role - but computer pioneers can't even agree on exactly what the Internet is, let alone who created it. ... Technical histories of the Internet refer mainly to the technical milestones along the way. Among all the techno-whizzes that get the credit, only one legislator is mentioned - Gore - despite the fact that every stage of the Internet's evolution was funded and directed by federal grants and initiatives.

    Gore was widely credited in histories written long before the vice president's oft-derided comment to CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer that he ''took the initiative in creating the Internet.''

    Gore is credited by the technological cognoscenti for having sponsored legislation that helped launch the expansion of the fledgling Internet to ever-wider uses. As early as 1986, Gore articulated a vision of widespread connected computing. In 1989, he said that ''the creation of this nationwide network ... will create an environment where work stations are common in homes and even small businesses.''

    Two years later, he introduced a followup bill to expand access to the network, saying, ''In the future, I think we will see computers and networks used to teach every subject from kindergarten through grade school.''

    None of these histories comes close to giving him credit for the ''creation'' of the Internet. One account, written by Vinton Cerf (widely known, though he eschews the title, as ''the father of the Internet''), states: ''I think the vice president is very deserving of credit for his active support for the Internet and the businesses that depend on it daily.''

    Cerf, now a vice president at MCI-Worldcom, added that ''his remark was almost certainly a slip of the tongue, because he'd be quite correct to say `I helped create the Internet' - because of his work to provide an environment of support for research, technology transfer and e-commerce initiatives so fundamental to the Internet today.''

    So, if the Republicans were working to trash Gore's reputation, I guess they could say "Mission Accomplished".

    Taco, thanks for proving once again the old proverb, "a lie can make it halfway 'round the world before the truth gets its boots on."
    • >Taco, thanks for proving once again the old proverb, "a lie can make it halfway 'round the world before the truth gets its boots on."

      All too true. Gore was one of the few "geek" politicians out there (granted he wore many 'hats') and seeing his own record used against him to mock him because of some disturbing form of geek 31337 nonsense and media disinformation is really pathetic.

      Oh well, my senator's email address is usually broken and when it works the emails get ignored. I've heard him talk abou
    • Sorry but that's bullshit.

      He quite clearly said "I took the initiative in creating the internet."

      There is *no* other way that that can be taken. He was trying to take the credit for the entire internet.
    • As early as 1986...

      In 1986, the Internet was up and running just fine. I'd been working on it for almost five years. Everybody in academia and aerospace had already made the transition from the IMP-based ARPANET protocols to TCP/IP, thousands of LANs were interconnected with the wide area net, and the protocols were working reliably. Sun was already a viable company. The Internet was growing steadily.

      What hadn't happened yet was cheap high-bandwidth fibre. The cost of long-haul links was still quite

  • It seems (Score:5, Funny)

    by NIK282000 (737852) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:48PM (#11001926) Homepage Journal
    That site is internet history as well.
  • by MarkedMan (523274) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:49PM (#11001931)
    Gore never claimed to have "invented" the Internet. He did, however, correctly take credit for chairing the committee that created the Internet (and yes, the Internet was a government creation). Our bilious politics and the American (and French) habit of analysis by sarcasm, coupled with the media's and citizenry's incredible laziness, led to the damaging sound bites.

    This is from the Daily Howler's excellent analysis of this whole issue (http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh120302.shtml) It starts several paragraphs into the piece:

    Martin Walker wrote this in The Guardian:

    WALKER (12/30/88): American computing scientists are campaigning for the creation of a "superhighway" which would revolutionise data transmission.

    Legislation has already been laid before Congress by Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee, calling for government funds to help establish the new network, which scientists say they can have working within five years, at a cost of Dollars 400 million.
  • by nizo (81281) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:54PM (#11001969) Homepage Journal
    From the front page:

    This Institute of Internet History (IOIH) is dedicated to the recording and documenting the history of the Internet...

    Click here to start the journey...

    Right now it is loading about as fast as a BBS login screen downloading at 300baud to a paper terminal. Talk about a realistic tour of the beginnings of the internet!

  • Who's seen an IMP? (Score:3, Informative)

    by chiph (523845) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @12:54PM (#11001971)
    All those who have seen an IMP in person, raise your hand.

    {raises hand}

    I saw some BBN technicians install an IMP while I was stationed at McClellan AFB in 1985-6. It took up 4 racks (but probably could have fit in 3). At the time, I had no clue what it was for.

    Chip H.
  • how terrible (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ImTheDarkcyde (759406)
    i do beleive that the last 3/4ths of posters are "off topic" or "redundant"

    the 3rd or so post linked to the al gore invented the internet, now there are about 20 more to the same site.

    so is there a mirror of the article somewhere for us to read?
    • Re:how terrible (Score:2, Informative)

      by sg3000 (87992) *
      > i do beleive that the last 3/4ths of posters are "off topic" or
      > "redundant"

      > the 3rd or so post linked to the al gore invented the internet,
      > now there are about 20 more to the same site.

      Redundant doesn't mean simultaneous.

      Look at the time stamps for the posts. They're all about the same time. Clearly people read the line and decided to hit reply. In the time it takes for someone to type a response and hit send, is the difference in when they were posted. Note that the longer responses are
    • by dswensen (252552) *
      What article? I'm too engaged with this fresh and scintillating Al Gore debate!
  • In our days (Score:2, Funny)

    by karvind (833059)
    In our days we used smoke signal .....
  • This "institute" must be brand spankin' new because there doesn't seem to be any links to it or information about it anywhere. It's not indexed by Yahoo or Google, and there's nothing on Usenet. If the project actually lives up to its name it could be an incredible resource, but so far it looks like a pet project with an ill-planned launch.

    As a technophile and a cultural studies nut, I'm really interested in the kind of chronicle that the IOIH alleges to offer.

    Btw, sorry to interrupt the Al Gore free-for
    • It's hosted on a dynamic IP service..i.e. someone's home box. It has the slashdot "funny" icon on it. Even without being able to read TFA, I suspect you'll be disappointed.
  • Pong did it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shadowsurfr1 (746027) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @01:04PM (#11002038)
    I still give credit to pong [shadowsurfr1.mine.nu] for inventing it.
  • by wombatmobile (623057) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @01:05PM (#11002039)

    This [isoc.org] is history.

    From ISOC [isoc.org].

  • Some of us with memories back to the mid-1980s actually remember the creation of the InterNet. At that time the federal government approved funds (via Gore's bill) for transcontinental, high capacity computer data lines. This would complement and connect several existing academic and military lines. And businesses would be allowed to connect too. Tapping into these lines meant you had to standardize a few basic protocols not everyone was using at the time.
  • There are enormous gaps in this so called "history" including where the Internet came from [wigu.com].
  • by Antaeus Feldspar (118374) on Sunday December 05, 2004 @02:44PM (#11002552) Homepage
    As long as I can mark that front-page article by the editors as Irresponsible And Just Plain Wrong. I won't be the only one to point this out, I know, but I think it bears repeating, especially because it's the sort of thing that could potentially lead to lawsuits.

    It's bad enough to take what Gore actually said, that he took a lead role in the creation of the Internet -- which he did, by supporting the project in his political role -- and buy into the urban legend that he said he invented it. It's even worse to put quotes around it and thus falsely claim that that word came from Gore.

    So in short, as Cmdr. Taco keeps reminding us, "Hey! We're News For Nerds! News doesn't have to stick to that annoying 'truth' stuff!" (No, he didn't actually say that, but hey, let's put it in quotes as if he did...)

  • I recall, back in late 1993 or maybe early 94, somewhere around there, being infuriated by this guy I'd never heard of before. Some jerk named Al Gore was on national television beaking off about the "Information Superhighway" that was out there.
    "SHUT UP!!!" I screamed at the TV. "Everybody's going to want in, just shut up oh please please stop talking!!"

    Give him credit for that, at the very least.

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