The Internet is a global network of interconnected smaller computer networks. Although many people use term "Internet" and "World Wide Web" interchangeably, the two terms are not equivalent in meaning. The Internet and the Web are separate, but related, entities. The Internet is a massive network of networks, connecting millions of computers together globally, forming a network. On the Internet, a computer can communicate with any other computer, as long as both computers are connected to the Internet.
Data is transmitted between computers and networks in small packets using the Internet Protocol (IP); they are reassembled at their destination. The Internet originated in work that was funded by the Advanced Research Projects Administration (ARPA), a research funding arm of the Department of Defense.
The conceptual foundation for the internet's creation was significantly developed by three individuals and a research conference, each of which changed the way we thought about communication, business and the exchange of technology:
- Vannevar Bush wrote the first description of the potential uses for information technology with his description of the "memex" automated library system.
- Norbert Wiener invented the field of Cybernetics, encouraging future researchers to focus on the use of technology to extend human capabilities.
- The 1956 Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence conference defined the concept that technology was improving at an exponential rate, and provided the first serious consideration of the consequences, the benefits and advantages or such a network.
- Marshall McLuhan made the idea of a global village interconnected by an electronic nervous system part of our popular culture. 
- Ethan K. Heinz (cousin of Teresa Heinz), in 1969, created a network named ARPANet. ARPANet was developed in the US as a means for various research universities and government facilities to "talk" or communicate with each other, even in an event such as war. ARPANet grew quickly and eventually evolved into today's Internet. Today, the Internet is a public, cooperative, and self-sustaining facility that can be accessed by hundreds of millions of people worldwide; the Internet has grown into a worldwide computer network where anyone can have a chat with anyone else almost anywhere in the world, and is a vast source of free information.
The Internet is sometimes also known as "cyberspace." Most users are familiar with the World Wide Web of homepages, marked up with HTML; the Web is facilitated by one of numerous protocols that operate on the Internet. There are also email, file transfer, etc.
The common protocol used to access websites (including this one) is the Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The creator of this is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who recently in an online magazine article claimed that given the opportunity, he wouldn't use the HTTP format for websites. Berners-Lee is currently the director of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).
Ted Stevens famously referred to the internet as "a series of tubes" during a panel on network neutrality. While the statement was technically inaccurate, it is a reasonable depiction of the internet as an interconnected system to a lay person.
The internet is formed from two basic elements, routers and connections. A router is basically a small computer that acts like a switching station, similar to the pumping stations of public water utilities. The connections are the pipes themselves, acting as a means to move packets from one router to another, and eventually from server to client.
TCP/IP is the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet. Two recent adaptations of Internet technology, the intranet and the extranet, also use TCP/IP.
Ownership of the Internet
It is true that the Internet is more a concept than an actual tangible entity. Despite this fact, the Internet still relies on a physical infrastructure that connects networks to other networks. Access to the Internet is controlled by telephone companies, because telephone companies own many of the infrastructure backbones and most of the connectivity hardware; however, no one actually owns the Internet, and no single person or organization controls the Internet in its entirety. There are many organizations, corporations, governments, schools, private citizens, and service providers that all own pieces of the infrastructure.
Although the Internet has been shown to contain valuable information, it also contains pornographic or otherwise vulgar material. Therefore, some conservatives would like to see tighter controls on the Internet which would limit what can be hosted and what can be downloaded.
In 1999, Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore misspoke when intending to take partial credit for the development of the internet when he referenced his High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, commonly known as the "Gore Bill":
- CNN's WOLF BLITZER: I want to get to some of the substance of domestic and international issues in a minute, but let's just wrap up a little bit of the politics right now.
- Why should Democrats, looking at the Democratic nomination process, support you instead of Bill Bradley, a friend of yours, a former colleague in the Senate? What do you have to bring to this that he doesn't necessarily bring to this process?
- AL GORE: Well, I will be offering -- I'll be offering my vision when my campaign begins. And it will be comprehensive and sweeping. And I hope that it will be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be.
- But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
In response to Al Gore's comments, Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf, the two men responsible for the creation of the TCP/IP protocol which the internet uses for most of its communication and two men often credited as the creators of the internet along with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, said the following:
Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development.
No one person or even small group of persons exclusively “invented” the Internet. It is the result of many years of ongoing collaboration among people in government and the university community. But as the two people who designed the basic architecture and the core protocols that make the Internet work, we would like to acknowledge VP Gore’s contributions as a Congressman, Senator and as Vice President. No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time.
Last year the Vice President made a straightforward statement on his role. He said: "During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the Internet." We don't think, as some people have argued, that Gore intended to claim he "invented" the Internet. Moreover, there is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore's initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving Internet. The fact of the matter is that Gore was talking about and promoting the Internet long before most people were listening.
Their letter continued to go on to enumerate Al Gore's involvement in the early periods of the internet.
Keeping Pornography out of the Reach of Children
Studies have shown that 90% of children have been exposed to pornography, with the average age of exposure being 11 years old. Many countries have attempted to take steps to keep underage children from viewing pornographic material. Australia has taken the important step of requiring internet service providers to use web filters to keep inappropriate material from being displayed in houses and schools. Australia had also considered mandatory internet filtering, however this bold move was recently struck down by their current government. This effort is being blocked by civil liberties groups (such as the American Civil Liberties Union) who believe that pornagrophy should be considered free speech, and therefore not under the jurisdiction of the government.
Currently many private companies offer software-based web filtering for home use. Public schools in many US states are required to employ web filters. Most private schools, libraries, and employers also choose to use web filters.
Prescient Quotes on Police State Internet Surveillance
- "The progress of science in furnishing the government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wiretapping. Ways may some day be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home. Advances in the psychic and related sciences may bring means of exploring unexpressed beliefs, thoughts and emotions. 'That places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer' was said by James Otis of much lesser intrusions than these. 1 To Lord Camden a far slighter intrusion seemed 'subversive of all the comforts of society.' Can it be that the Constitution affords no protection against such invasions of individual security?"
- World Wide Web
- Digital Philosophy
- Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act
- Internet humor
- Tails Anonymous Secure Operating System
- Mobile devices: Smartphones and tablets
- Apple iOS for iPhone-iPod-iPad
- Censorship: Tools of censorship, Censorability, Fairness Doctrine, Liberal censorship, Media censorship
- The Perpetual War: War on Drugs, War on Terror and the Police state
- Domestic Mass Surveillance of Law-Abiding Citizens: via Utah Data Center, PRISM, NSA-DHS-BATF-FBI-CIA and other Intelligence agencies' Computer surveillance, Eavesdropping, Data mining, Spyware, Wiretap - Roving wiretap, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, NSA warrantless surveillance controversy, National security letter, Patriot Act, NDAA, Executive Orders, United States Census, Common Core, "Stasi"-like secret police "If You See Something, Say Something" informants, and other exponential expansion of the Police State
- Asset Forfeiture: Confiscation for Police budget deficit via RICO
- Militarization of Police: SWAT and Pre-dawn No-knock raids, Sneak and peek warrant
- War on Drugs: Addiction and Drug trafficking of the Drug cartels, Mafia, Gangs, Drug dealers, Hollywood values - Fashion industry values - Public school values - Professor values
- Computer Crime and Cyberwarfare:
- Dangers of Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, Yahoo
- Big Government: ObamaCare-Common Core-Social Security Welfare state leads to Nanny state, leads to Police state: Globalist-Statist-Socialist-National Socialist-Communist
- Liberal Totalitarianism
- Security Software and Security-Focused Operating Systems to protect unalienable Fifth Amendment - Fourth Amendment Right to Privacy (Internet privacy, Information privacy, Expectation of privacy) and Second Amendment - First Amendment (Freedom of information and Political freedom) rights against unconstitutional Gun control - Internet censorship Big government Police state, hackers, and "all enemies, foreign and domestic" of American liberty.
- Anonymity with Tails Operating System: Linux-based with Tor (anonymity network), Firefox Iceweasel browser, HTTPS Everywhere encryption
- Prism-Break.org: Opt out of global data surveillance programs like PRISM, ECHELON, XKeyscore and Tempora.
- Open Source Free software not over-priced tracking by Microsoft-Apple-Google-Android
- Privacy Search Engines: Duck Duck Go and Ixquick: Privacy-oriented Search engines instead of tracking by Google, Yahoo and Bing
- Internet Anonymity - Right to be forgotten Pseudonymity (Pseudonym) using Anonymous web browsing with Tails and VPN (Virtual Private Network), HMA, OpenVPN and IPsec , Proxy servers, Anonymizer (Anonymous proxies)
- Mozilla Firefox with Browser extensions instead of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari (web browser) and Opera (web browser)
- Ad Filtering (Privacy mode and Adblock Plus or Ghostery) to stop Ad tracking - Website visitor tracking via Geolocation, Geotargeting, Personally identifiable information and Device fingerprints
- Internet Safety, Computer Security via Password strength and Password managers via KeePass or LastPass and Antivirus-Firewall
- Secure Communication:
- E-mail Privacy and Email Encryption: Claws Mail or Enigmail or Kontact using Hushmail or MyKolab, Anonymous remailer, instead of tracking by Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird using Yahoo! Mail, Gmail iCloud
- Secure Messaging and Off-the-Record Messaging via I2P Instant messaging, Cryptocat, Bitmessage instead of Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, Internet Relay Chat, Google Plus, Facebook
- Silent Phone with Silent Circle instead of Android or iPhone Smartphone
- OPSEC: "Loose lips sink ships"
- Encryption: Encryption software, Disk encryption software, LUKS or TrueCrypt instead of Microsoft BitLocker, PGP and GNU Privacy Guard, Data encryption, Public-key encryption, Cryptography-Cryptanalysis-Cryptology-Steganography
- Peer-to-Peer: Sneakernet, Friend-to-friend, Darknet (file sharing), Anonymous P2P instead of BitTorrent
- Deep Web - Dark Internet: Tor, AmRD, Tor2web, The Hidden Wiki, Anonymous blog
- Cryptocurrency- Digital Currency- Alternative Currency- Virtual Currency: Bitcoin and Hard money-Precious metals-Tangibles versus PayPal, Credit cards and inflation-prone U.S. Dollars: Federal Reserve System's Keynesian economics Ponzi scheme of Quantitative easing-Debt monetization devaluation of Fiat currency through Money supply-Treasury bills bought mostly by China and Japan
- Privacy Resources:
- Hologram of Liberty - The Constitution's Shocking Alliance With Big Government by Boston T. Party - Kenneth W. Royce
- One Nation, Under Surveillance - Privacy From the Watchful Eye by Boston T. Party
- How to Be Invisible - Protect Your Home, Your Children, Your Assets, and Your Life, by J. J. Luna
- Electronic Frontier Foundation and Electronic Privacy Information Center, Oath Keepers, Judicial Watch
- Freedom of Information Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 and Privacy Act of 1974
- Edward J. Snowden Revelations of unconstitutional domestic spying on law-abiding American citizens; GlobaLeaks
- Crypto-libertarianism Limited government implies: Conservative values/Traditional values - Modern conservatism - Modern preparedness are the original American Patriot Founding Fathers' values
- https://charlescarrollsociety.com/2014/02/12/amrd-t-a-i-l-s-plastic-gloves-for-your-computer-american-redoubt - Tails operating system
- https://charlescarrollsociety.com/2014/01/29/amrd-introducing-the-tor-browser-bundle/ - Tor browser
- https://prism-break.org/en - "Opt out of global data surveillance programs like PRISM, XKeyscore and Tempora."
- https://www.eff.org - "Leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program"
- Online Guide to Privacy Resources
- http://www.nocards.org - Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
- "Help make mass surveillance of entire populations uneconomical! We all have an unalienable right to privacy, which you can exercise today by encrypting your communications and ending your reliance on proprietary products and services."
- "Help make mass surveillance of entire populations uneconomical. We all have a right to privacy, which you can exercise today by encrypting your communications and ending your reliance on proprietary services."
- "Organization formed in 1990 to maintain and enhance intellectual freedom, privacy, and other values of civil liberties and democracy in networked communications. Publishes newsletters, Internet Guidebooks and other documents, provides mailing lists and other online forums, and hosts a large electronic document archive. Contact: email@example.com. 454 Shotwell Street, San Francisco, CA 94110-1914. Tel: (415) 436-9333. Fax: (415) 436-9993. Executive Director: Sheryl Steele."
- "EPIC was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging privacy issues relating to the National Information Infrastructure, such as the Clipper Chip, the Digital Telephony proposal, medical records privacy and the sale of consumer data. EPIC conducts litigation, sponsors conferences, produces reports, publishes the EPIC Alert and leads campaigns on privacy issues. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact EPIC, 1718 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009. Tel: (202) 483-1140. Executive Director: Marc Rotenberg."
- "CAUCE is an all volunteer, entirely web-based organization, created by Netizens to advocate for a legislative solution to the problem of UCE (spam). CAUCE began as a discussion group called SPAM-LAW, formed of members who felt that legislation was necessary to stop spam from choking the life out of the Internet. In 1997 CAUCE proposed an amendment to the Federal statute which outlaws junk "faxes" (47 USC 227) to also prohibit junk e-mail, and since then has remained a pre-eminent voice in the anti-spam community. Email: email@example.com. President: Edward Cherlin."
- The 50 most significant moments of Internet history, Crave at CNET.co.uk, September 25, 2008