What is DARPA and Why Should You Understand it?

DARPA stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Sure, that is a mouthful and it really does not tell you what this is, so we have to go a bit further. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, DARPA was the agency that started to understand how the internet could help with the defense of the United States.

They were, in a sense, ahead of the rest of the world at the time when they created the internet and these visionaries were very proud of themselves, as well, they should have been. At the time, their creation did everything it was supposed to do and more. They were way ahead of the rest of the world as they celebrated the birth of the internet.

The internet gave the people working for DARPA a much more reliable and faster way to work. If they were not using the internet, they were not working very fast or very well, at the time. Of course, as we know now, the internet has grown and it started to be implemented, first, into many other government organizations before it became what it is today.

They started by implementing different code and connecting themselves with a network full of optic cables and they “went online”. The one thing they started to discover, was that the internet had many problems and DARPHA had to figure out how to fix them. As with anything of this nature, there are growing pains and they had to deal with these.

The Internet Growing Pains and DARPA

DARPA

Currently the internet is no longer a teenager and is about 20 years old. It is past many of the growing pains it went through and it is settling into an adult life that is quite good. However, if the SOPA and PIPA bills are passed it could be like this 20 year old has gotten into an accident and can no longer walk freely. If you want to do something about this go to: http://sopablackout.org/ and use the contact form to tell your representative you oppose these bills.

Anyway, when the internet was in the growing stages it had many issues like viruses and other things that had to be dealt with. It is a bit rarer now that we hear about a virus ruining everybody’s computer than it was 5 or even 10 years ago. It used to be that a virus would be hard to stop, but now we have software specifically for this and it is updated often.

Another issue that DARPA found early on was how slow it was. Do you remember the dial-up connection? Maybe you still have dial-up internet, but even this super slow type of internet connection has become faster. We now have cable internet, satellite internet, fiber optics internet, and many other choices for better speed.

This was one of the biggest issues they had to deal with along with figure out how to keep hackers out. With many new creations, software, and other ways to send data, which DARPA played a role in, the internet developed into what we now have today. What would you do without the internet? Did you know that it was originally created for defense and not for what we now have today?

DARPA and the Development of the Internet

It was created many years ago for a different reason, but over time, the internet was developed into something very special. It is now a great tool for businesses, individuals, and for the government to use. We have gone from one system that DARPA used for itself, to a worldwide system we can be very proud of.


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