The Internet traces its beginnings back to a U.S. Defense Department project during the Cold War. The system was supposed to be a way to let computer users, attached to different networks, exchange data with each other.
The key questions were:
While it is true the Internet has its roots in the Cold War and was a Defense Department project, the system wasn’t really designed for war. At first, it was designed to allow computing resources to be shared among a scattered group of users. Of course, the idea could also be transferred to military command and control situations.
It’s interesting that the Internet, a Cold War technology, will likely make its greatest contribution to promoting democracy in a post-Cold War world. It greatly increases the free flow of information into even the most oppressed societies. Dictators depend upon control of information. Control is essential to maintain a dictatorship. But the Internet makes it impossible for governments to control access to outside information. The Internet could be a tremendous force to spread democracy.