The Federal Origin of the Internet
Despite its libertarian characteristics, the Internet was the product of the Federal Government.
Ironically, for all its free-market libertarianism, the Internet was a creation of the U.S. Government. The government still owned most of it in the early '90s, although and increasing proportion of hte equipment over which it ran sat in computer centers in universities, research organizations, and private companies. The Internet, after all, runs over existing phone lines as well as over its own high-speed, high-bandwidth telecommunications "backbones." Although it appears to be free to its users, most of its operating costs were borne first by the government and then increasingly by private computer centers, whose computers are being used to hold the content of the Internet--newsgroups, Websites, e-mail archives, and the like--and to forward messages from one node to another.