Andrew Oster (Your Views, Aug. 8) cites a Wall Street Journal column by L. Gordon Crovitz as the basis of his assertion that “The government didn't invent the Internet after all.” Vint Cerf, one of the actual builders of the infrastructure of the Internet, vehemently disagrees. He and Bob Kahn, the other half of the team that created the protocols that link networks, not just computers, were working under DARPA contracts at the time. Even Crovitz's claim that the development of Ethernet (by Xerox) is more important that TCP/IP leaves out the fact that Ethernet was built on Alohanet, an ARPA-sponsored project at the University of Hawaii. Cerf, in an interview with CNET, said of some of Crovitz's claims, “I would happily fertilize my tomatoes with Crovitz's assertion.”
Who should we believe? Someone who's writing about this history 40 years after it happened, or someone who was there? While the U.S. government can't claim 100 percent ownership of the creation of the Internet, it's clear that the Internet wouldn't be where it is today without the impetus provided in those early years by DARPA.
Paul Franson, Oklahoma City