Quoted: on who invented the Internet, again

“The origins of the Internet include work both sponsored by the government and Xerox PARC, so you can’t say that the Internet was invented by either one alone.”

Robert Taylor, who in the 1960s ran the Department of Defense’s ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) Information Processing Technologies program and later left to run Xerox PARC’s computer lab. Wired spoke with Taylor after Xerox PARC was given too much credit for inventing the Internet in a column by former Wall Street Journal publisher L. Gordon Crovitz, who wrote that President Obama is giving too much credit to government for inventing the Internet. Crovitz is getting plenty of criticism, including from a source he cited in the column. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times columnist and author of “Dealers of Lightning,” which tells the history of Xerox PARC, wrote Monday: “While I’m gratified in a sense that he cites my book about Xerox PARC… to support his case, it’s my duty to point out that he’s wrong. My book bolsters, not contradicts, the argument that the Internet had its roots in the ARPANet, a government project.”


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  • Bryan

    Questions like “‘Who invented…’ an emergent phenomenon?” are based on a false premise. The only things sillier than the questions are the “answers.”

    Our obsession with ownership makes us stupid.

  • RayT

    Ignorance of the facts and history make us much more stupid. The roots of the internet are, unquestionably, ARPANET. Those of us who were in the industry in the 70s onwards know.

  • curmudgeon2000

    Yet another example of the morally bankrupt right-wing extremists
    in the US, who, lacking any credible facts to support their
    policies, must resort to creating blatant lies.

  • I remember BBS boards and search engines (gophers?) like Archie and Veronica. Were those developed by the feds?