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ARPANET’s users had warped the computer-sharing network into a dedicated, high-speed, federally subsidized electronic postal service.
The main traffic was not long-distance computing, but news and personal messages.
Its users scarcely noticed, for ARPANET’s functions not only continued but steadily improved.
The use of TCP/IP standards for computer networking is now global.
As the ‘70 advanced, other entire networks fell into the digital embrace of this ever-growing web of computers.
Since TCP/IP was public domain, and the basic technology was decentralized and rather anarchic by its very nature, it was difficult to stop people from barging in and linking up.
An added bonus was that scientists and researchers could share one another’s computer facilities from a great distance away.
RAND mulled over this grim puzzle in deep military secrecy, and arrived at a daring solution.