Military Internet

The military plays a key role in the Internet, including its invention, technological changes, and applications. This entry focuses on the institutional environment through which the military, particularly that of the United States, has shaped the Internet in various ways.


The military origins of the Internet are well-known, dating back to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the 1960s. It is often believed that DARPA’s attempts to link computers electronically were aimed at allowing them to communicate with one another in the event of a nuclear attack—the principal focus was on the Pentagon and its computing center at Cheyenne Mountain, Montana—although some dispute whether this was part of the original intent. DARPA’s project proved to be enormously successful, giving rise, among other things, to ...

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