Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf are key members of a team, which created Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), the common language of all Internet computers. For the first time the loose collection of networks which made up the ARPANET is seen as an Internet, and the Internet as we know it today is born. The mid-80s marks a boom in the personal computer and super-minicomputer industries. The combination of inexpensive desktop machines and powerful, network-ready servers allows many companies to join the Internet for the first time.
Corporations begin to use the Internet to communicate with each other and with their customer’s (Net Timeline. ). The general public gets its first vague hint of how networked computers can be used in daily life as the commercial version of the ARPANET goes online. By 1988 the Internet is an essential tool for communications, however it also begins to create concerns about privacy and security in the digital world. New words, such as hacker, cracker and electronic break-in, are created. These new worries are dramatically demonstrated on Nov. , 1988 when a malicious program called the Internet Worm temporarily disables approximately 6,000 of the 60,000 Internet hosts
Each individual could create graphic pages (a Web site), which then became part of a huge, virtual hypertext network called the World Wide Web (WWW). The enhanced Internet was informally renamed the Web and a huge additional audience was created. As the Internet celebrates its 25th anniversary in 1996, the military strategies that influenced its birth become historical footnotes. Approximately 40 million people are connected to the Internet. More than $1 billion per year changes hands at Internet shopping malls, and Internet related companies like Netscape are the darlings of high-tech investors.
Users in almost 150 countries around the world are now connected to the Internet and the number of computer hosts approaches 10 million (Howe). The Age of the Internet has arrived. Traffic on the Internet expands at a 341,634% annual growth rate (Pedroni). Within 30 years, the Internet has grown from a Cold War concept for controlling the tattered remains of a post-nuclear society to the Information Superhighway. Just as the railroads of the 19th century enabled the Machine Age, and revolutionized the society of the time, the Internet has taken us into the Information Age, and profoundly affects the world in which we live.