The History of the Internet.

Course notes to the first a series of three sessions.


It was all because of the cold war.

In those far off days there was a distinct possibility that with about 15 minutes warning cities like San Francisco or Washington DC would experience a 50 megaton Hydrogen Bomb bursting about 20 or thirty kilometres up in the atmosphere.

Not only would this ruin everybody's lunch around the explosion point but it would also, kill millions of people, vaporise buildings and destroy all vegetation and life of every kind for a few hundred miles around.

Not nice.

What worried the Department of Defence (DOD) aka The Pentagon was that at the time of the explosion there would be a massive pulse of electromagnetic radiation.
This is the dreaded EMP. Electro-magnetic Pulse.


Its a chilling subject and worth examining.

The best source is the House of Representatives, Committee on National Security, 1997 hearings into star wars technology in 1997

Part of a Statement Of Dr. Gary L. Smith, Director, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University.

"The detonation of a nuclear weapon produces high energy gamma radiation that travels radially away from the burst center. When the detonation occurs at high altitudes, greater than about 40 kilometers, the gamma rays directed toward the Earth encounter the atmosphere, where they interact with air molecules to produce positive ions and recoil electrons called Compton electrons, after the man who discovered the effect.

The gamma radiation, interacting with the air molecules, produces charge separation as the Compton recoil electrons are ejected and leave behind the more massive positive ions. The Earth's magnetic field interacts with the Compton recoil electrons and causes charge acceleration, which further radiates electromagnetic energy. EMP is produced by these charge separation and charge acceleration phenomena, which occur in the atmosphere in a layer about 20 kilometers thick and about 30 kilometers above the Earth's surface.

Burst on the order of 500 kilometers in altitude can cover the entire continental United States. The strength of the field will change at the various radii from the burst point, but it will cover the same area regardless of the strength of the burst.

The amplitude, duration and polarization of the wave depend on the location of the burst, the type of weapon, the yield, and the relative position of the observer. The electric field resulting from a high-altitude nuclear detonation can be on the order of 50 kilovolts per meter with a rise time on the order of 10 nanoseconds and a decay time to half maximum of about 200 nanoseconds. It is very fast.

The EMP threat is unique in two respects. First, its peak field amplitude and rise rate are high. These features of EMP will induce potentially damaging voltages and currents in unprotected electronic circuits and components.

Second, the area covered by an EMP signal can be immense. As a consequence, large portions of extended power and communications networks, for example, can simultaneously be put at risk. Such far-reaching effects are peculiar to EMP. Neither natural phenomena nor any other nuclear weapon effects are so widespread.

Ground facilities, for example, those housing the large computers central to the functioning of our financial systems, are typically nodes in a larger network and are connected to overhead or buried cables for power and communication. They are also connected to buried pipes for water supply and waste disposal and are typically equipped with communication antennas and distributed security systems of various types. All of these features can direct EMP energy into the facility.

Analyses and simulated EMP testing have shown that currents carried to a facility by long overhead or buried conductors can reach thousands of amperes. Shorter penetrating conductors can carry hundreds of amperes into facilities. Direct EMP penetration through the walls and windows of an unshielded building can induce currents of tens of amperes on illuminated interior conductors.


So basically what Dr Smith is saying in 1997 and which was well understood form the atmospheric tests of the 1950's was that a nuclear burst at as little as 20 kilometres in altitude would fry every telephone wire, integrated circuit and electronic device in a radius of a hundred miles.

So what would happen to the communications networks the Pentagon needed to fight the hot war against those hydrogen bombing commy ratfinks?

They would be fried. Not good.

How would a message from a Strategic Air Command Base get from Cheyenne Wyoming to Norfolk Virginia if the telephone lines through Washington were crispy noodles.

Answer - a packet switched network. If Washington was toast the little packets could take alternative routes through New Orleans - Chicago - Omaha - Tampa Florida - Charleston, anywhere that was not yet nuclear ashes.

The packet switched network would stay running until the last city was a glowing pile of radioactive embers.

That was the reason they wanted a packet switched network.

So how did this actually come about.

In 1957 , while responding to the threat of the Soviets in general and the success of Sputnik in particular they founded a number of science institutes.

You have to remember what a big wake up call the launch of Sputnik was. It really got the Americans going.

All of a sudden the Russians who they knew did clunky but clever science were playing in space. And the Americans weren't!! President Dwight Eisenhower created both the Interstate Highway System and the Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA - also at times DARPA

Thats right, its President Eisenhower who creates the national system of freeways in the United States and also sets in motion the Information Super Highway as the Internet was later called.

Not a bad effort for a cold war warrior.
Its ARPA (DARPA) who go look for a bomb proof network.
The Packet switched idea came from the Rand Corporation. It was the brainchild of RAND staffer Paul Baran
So the invention of the Internet starts out at this Agency started by Eisenhower - the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) established in 1958 with the mission of keeping the US's military technology ahead of its enemies.

ARPA (DARPA) was responsible for funding development of ARPANET (which grew into the Internet),

ARPANET became operational in 1968 and served as the basis for early networking research, as well as a central backbone during the development of the Internet. The ARPANET consisted of individual packet switching computers interconnected by leased lines. The Protocols used include FTP and telnet.

When the Network was up and running and bomb designers and Pentagon people were in full throttle .

In 1971 a chap called Larry Roberts decided that what was needed to get people a bit more interested in the ARPNET was a public Demonstration of the things it could do.

After a year of preparation in October 1972 they installed a packet switch and a Terminal Interface Processor or TIP in the basement of the Washington Hilton Hotel, and actually let the public come in and use the ARPANET, running applications all over the U.S.

The demo was a roaring success, much to the surprise of the people at AT&T who were skeptical about whether it would work.

As a Mr Bob Bell who was a maintenance engineer 1973 - 1975 maintaining PDP 10 hardware at SRI noted,

About one two years after the first online demo of which actually let the public come in and use the ARPANET the NET became really busy especially "every Friday night"

"I remember hearing that there was an ARPANET "conference" on the Star Trek game every Friday night. Star Trek was a text based game where you used photon torpedos and phasers to blast Klingons. "

Here is Bob Bell's diagram of what the Internet looked like at that time.

1972 The first e-mail program was created by Ray Tomlinson of BBN.
Everyone on the network found this useful and in no time hordes of academics, hippies and sundry freeloaders were using the Pentagon's expensive equipment to plan holidays, organise research and generally have a good time.

1973 Development began on the protocol later to be called TCP/IP, it was developed by a group headed by Vinton Cerf from Stanford and Bob Kahn from DARPA. This new protocol was to allow diverse computer networks to interconnect and communicate with each other. TCP is the first package to eliminate the worry as to what platform you are connecting to.

1974 First Use of term Internet by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn in paper on Transmission Control Protocol.

1976 UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) developed at AT&T Bell Labs and distributed with UNIX one year later. Unix (often spelled "UNIX," especially as an official trademark) is an operating system that originated at Bell Labs in 1969 as an interactive time-sharing system. Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie are considered the inventors of Unix.

The Department of Defense began to experiment with the TCP/IP protocol and soon decided to require it for use on ARPANET.

1979 USENET (the decentralized news group network) was created by Steve Bellovin, a graduate student at University of North Carolina, and programmers Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis. It was based on UUCP.

The Creation of BITNET, by IBM, "Because its Time Network", introduced the "store and forward" network. It was used for email and listservs

1981 National Science Foundation created backbone called CSNET 56 Kbps network for institutions without access to ARPANET. Vinton Cerf proposed a plan for an inter-network connection between CSNET and the ARPANET.

1983 Internet Activities Board (IAB) was created.

On January 1st, every machine connected to ARPANET had to use TCP/IP. TCP/IP became the core Internet protocol and replaced NCP entirely.

The University of Wisconsin created Domain Name System (DNS). This allowed packets to be directed to a domain name, which would be translated by the server database into the corresponding IP number. This made it much easier for people to access other servers, because they no longer had to remember numbers.

1984 The ARPANET was divided into two networks: MILNET and ARPANET.
MILNET was to serve the needs of the military and ARPANET to support the advanced research component, Department of Defense continued to support both networks.

At this point there are 1024 mainframes connected to the Internet.

1986 The Internet Engineering Task Force or IETF was created to serve as a forum for technical coordination by contractors for DARPA working on ARPANET, US Defense Data Network (DDN), and the Internet core gateway system.

1990 Tim Berners-Lee and CERN in Geneva implements a hypertext system to provide efficient information access to the members of the international high-energy physics community.

In October Tim Berners-Lee starts work on a hypertext GUI browser+editor using the NeXTStep development environment. He makes up "WorldWideWeb" as a name for the program.

1991 - 17 May Presentation to "C5" Committee. General release of WWW on central CERN machines.

1992 Internet Society is chartered.
World-Wide Web released by CERN.

1993 InterNIC created by NSF to provide specific Internet services: directory and database services (by AT&T), registration services (by Network Solutions Inc.), and information services (by General Atomics/CERFnet).

Marc Andreessen and NCSA and the University of Illinois develops a graphical user interface 9A Browser) to the WWW, called "Mosaic for X".

NCSA release first alpha version of Marc Andreessen's "Mosaic for X". Computing seminar at CERN Hosts: 2,056,000

1994 Pizza Hut offers pizza ordering on its Web page.

http://www.pizzahut.com/

First Virtual, the first cyberbank, opens. The Internet now has over 3,864,000 computers connected 1994 May 25-27 First International WWW Conference, CERN, Geneva. Heavily oversubscribed (800 apply, 400 allowed in): the "Woodstock of the Web".

1995 The National Science Foundation announced that as of April 30, 1995 it would no longer allow direct access to the NSF backbone.

The National Science Foundation contracted with four companies that would be providers of access to the NSF backbone These companies would then sell connections to groups, organizations, and companies.

$50 annual fee is imposed on domains, excluding .edu and .gov domains which are still funded by the National Science Foundation.

The Internet now had 6,642,000 hosts.

Eventually the Pentagon got a little fed up with shelling out good gun money for this out of control network and it was handed over to the National Science Foundation.

After that it just grew and grew like topsy.
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