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The new NSFNET set a blistering pace for technical advancement, linking newer, faster, shinier supercomputers, through thicker, faster links, upgraded and expanded, again and again, in 1986, 19.And other government agencies leapt in: NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, each of them maintaining their own digital kingdom in the Internet confederation.This was a very handy service, for computer time was precious in the early ‘70.In 1971 there were fifteen nodes in ARPANET; by 1972, thirty-seven nodes. By the second year of operation, however, an odd fact became clear.In the summer of 1968, experts at the RAND Corporation, America’s foremost Cold War think tank, were considering a strange strategic problem.How could the US authorities successfully communicate after a nuclear war?As early as 1977, TCP/IP was being used by other networks to link to ARPANET.
In 1984 the National Science Foundation got into the act.
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.
No matter how thoroughly a network was armored or protected, its switches and wiring would always be vulnerable to bombs.
An attack could reduce any conceivable network to tatters.