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The Internet: You love it; you need it; you can't live without it. But who invented it?
Technology experts cite various government agencies — as well as a handful of individuals — that have played an instrumental role in creating what we know today as the Internet.
In the 1930s, Belgian information expert Paul Otlet became the first to put forth ideas resembling those behind the Internet, when he wrote about a "Radiated Library" that would connect TV watchers to encyclopedic knowledge through telephone signals. Otlet also described how people might one day use this "network" to send one another messages, share files and even congregate in social hubs (think Facebook or Twitter).
In the early 1960s, J.C.R. Licklider — then a computer scientist with technology company Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) — formulated a few unique ideas about global networking in a series of memos, describing an "Intergalactic Computer Network."
These groundbreaking ideas landed Licklider a position as director of the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now known as DARPA), the government agency responsible for creating a time-sharing network of computers known as ARPANET, the precursor to today's Internet.
Many of the researchers who worked on ARPANET made significant contributions to the evolution of the Internet, including Leonard Kleinrock, inventor of packet switching (a basic Internet technology). Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn invented TCP/IP protocol in the 1970s, and in 1972, Ray Tomlinson introduced network email.