"Beam me up, Scottie." This popular line from Star Trek was a
demonstration of the advanced technology of the future. Though it was a
fictional story, Star Trek became the universal vision of the future. As always
reality tends to mimic fiction. Though our society has not quite resulted to
living in space, we have made life easier with technology. Economic survival has
become more dependent upon information and communications bringing forth new
technology of which was never thought possible. Just a mere thirty years ago a
computer occupied a whole room compared today’s palm sized computers, which
are faster and perform more functions. Cellular phones, now light and compact,
were bulky just ten years ago. The most incredible invention, the Internet, is
bringing infinite amount of information to your desktop. In the world of the of
the Internet there exist a world blind to skin color and other physical
appearances. The Internet while still young in age has grown rapidly, spreading
to countries world wide and connecting 50 million users. With its popularity, it
is incumbent upon our society to recognize how the Internet works and to be
aware of its advantages as well as disadvantages. While seemingly high tech the

Internet concept is rather simple. Computers speak to one another and send
information. This is accomplished by sending and receiving electronic impulse,
and then decoding them into a message. In order to communicate with one another
they are linked up in a network. They are then able to access information from
thousands of other computers. The network acts like one large computer storing
information in various places, rather than in one physical structure. Users tap
into the Internet to access or provide information. Internet technology allows
one to surf the World Wide Web or send e-mail. The vision of the Internet that
would revolutionize the computer and communications belonged to JCR Licklider of

MIT (Leiner n. page). In August of 1962 he envisioned a globally interconnected
set of computers which would allow everyone to quickly access data and programs
(Leiner n. page). A government sponsored project at Defense Advanced Research

Projects Agency (DARPA) started in October (Leiner n. page). The race for
discovery of such technology raged between the Soviet Union and The United

States of America. Both countries wanted control of the possibly powerful tool.

Then in 1968, The National Physical Laboratory in Great Britain set up the first
test network, which prompted the Pentagon’s ARPA to fund a larger project in
the USA. (Sterling n. page) However the race was not limited to just nations but
also companies. In 1965, working with Thomas Merrill, Lawrence G. Roberts
created the first wide-area computer ever built. These experiments proved that
computers could work together running programs and retrieving data as necessary
on remote machines. Roberts put together his plan for ARPANET, published in

1966. At that time he learned of Donald Davies and Roger Scantlebury of NPL and

Paul Baron and others at RAND. Research at MIT (1961-1967), RAND (1962-1965) and

NPL (1964-1967) while parallel had no knowledge of one another. In August of

1968 an RFQ, a refined model of ARPANET was released for the development of one
of the key components, the packet switches Interface Message Processors (IMP).

Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) installed the first IMP at UCLA and the first host
computer was connected. By the end of 1969 four host computers were connected
together into the initial ARPANET and the Internet was off the ground. In 1977,
electronic mail was introduced. (Leiner n. page) As the Internet quickly grew,
changes were necessary. The Internet’s decentralized structure made it easy to
expand but its NCP did not have the ability to address networks further down
stream than the destination IMP. Bob Kahn decided to develop a new version of
the protocol which eventually became known as the Transmission Control Protocol
/ Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Compared to the NCP which acted as a device
driver, the new protocol was more like a communication protocol. In order to
make it easier to use, Host were then assigned names, replacing numbers. A group
of scientist then set out to show that a compact and simple implementation of

TCP was possible. They succeeded, allowing it to run on desktop computers. (Leiner
n. page). Original uses of the Internet included government communications and a
forum for scientist to share ideas and help one another in research. In the

1980’s the Internet grew beyond its primarily research roots to include a
broad user community and increased commercial activity. In present day it has
become a tool for conducting research and finding information, as