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Al Gore, as you most likely know, did not invent the Internet. And, it’s not just a “series of tubes”, which is what United States Senator Ted Stevens called it. So who did invent the Internet, and what, exactly, is it?
The story of the Internet really begins in the 1950s, with communication between computers and terminals. Packet switching networks was being researched and explored. In the 1960s and 70s, this development continued.
The Internet Protocol Suite, which connected all the networks, was fully realized by 1982. In the late 1980s, commercial Internet providers started to set up shop. In 1995, the NSFNET was decommissioned, which allowed commercial traffic to run free, and removed restrictions.
Thus, over the last two decades, the Internet has been growing and changing very rapidly. Data is transmitted more and more quickly, and knowledge is spreading, commerce is selling, and so forth. So, who, exactly, invented all this?
Unlike the lightbulb and other famous inventions, one can’t easily point to a single person as the inventor of the Internet. There are a number of people who had ideas about it. In 1961, for example, Leonard Kleinrock (pictured) wrote a paper called “Information Flow in Large Communication Nets.”
In the 1960′s, there was experimentation at Stanford, involving Elmer Shapiro, Steve Carr, Jeff Rulifson, and Ron Stoughton. Naturally, over the years, many, many others made contributions to the development of the Internet, including Charley Kline, Ray Tomlison, Vinton Serf and Robert Kahn. The only thing you can be sure of is that Al Gore wasn’t responsible for all of it!