First Nation in Cyberspace

Twenty million strong and adding a million new users a month, the Internet is suddenly the place to be

Back in the mid-1960s, at the height of the cold war, the Department of Defense faced a tough question: How could orders be issued to the armed forces if the U.S. were ravaged by a nuclear assault? The communication hubs in place at the time -- the telephone switching offices and the radio and TV broadcast stations -- were not only vulnerable to attack, they would also probably be the first to go. The Pentagon needed a military command-and-control system that would continue to operate even if most of the phone lines were in tatters and the switches had melted down.

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