Science and Invention


Why was the Internet invented?

The computer network was invented in the late 1960s so that U.S. Department of Defense researchers could share information with each other and with other researchers. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) developed the Internet; its users, who were mostly scientists and academics, saw the power of the new technology: Wires linking computer terminals in a web of networks allow people anywhere in the world to communicate with each other over the computer. Even though it was developed by the government, the Internet is not government-run. The Internet Society, comprised of volunteers, addresses usage and standards issues.

The technology caught on, made more accessible by the innovation of the user-friendly World Wide Web. In spring 2005 there were an estimated 888 million Internet users around the world, about 35 percent of them in Asia, 30 percent in Europe, and 25 percent in North America (about 200 million of those in the United States). The powerful network had become part of everyday life in the developed world.


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