2.1. From Intranets to the Internet
During its formation years, the Internet was a disorganized, convoluted mess. The absence of a unified, global standard to dictate how data packets across computer networks should be presented meant that even for a simple two-way text-based communication between “trusted” computers, both operators needed to agree on an exact set of protocols to facilitate this communication, then ‘manually’ configure the protocols on each of their respective computers.
The “Wild West” nature of the Internet at that time inevitably spur businesses to opt for a closed-off version of it, a private network that they are in full control of (now referred as an “Intranet”). In due time, seeing how privately controlled networks flourished in the sense that it allows inter-departmental collaboration while not subjecting itself to the risks of “untrusted” entities roaming the “public Internet”, general perception of the Internet began to skew towards “private networks connected to each other via permission controls”, despite the pleas of evangelists advocating for a “permissionless public network”.
It was not until when Internet standards gradually emerged that general perception began to shift back towards the Internet’s original narrative as a permissionless public network. First, it was the FTP, then came HTTP, and soon enough it came to a point where there exist protocols to address each and every bottleneck hampering the realization of the public Internet. These protocols eventually aggregate into a single unified global standard (now known as the Internet protocol suite, or TCP/IP), marking the start of the World Wide Web and the Internet as the permissionless public network that it was originally envisioned.
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