Joseph Marsh Marsh 1Ms. SpannEnglish 101April 01,2001Internet Privacy: Is the Internet Really Safe?With every generation, they bring with them a new invention, to advance us bothtechnologically and scientifically, and thus make life better for us all. Technology, as defined inthe New Lexicon Websters Dictionary of the English Language, is “the science of technicalprocesses in a wide, though related field of knowledge. Technology, then can be anything as longas it helps us advance in some way. The technology of the 21st Century is the Internet or cyberspace.
The Internet was invented in the late 1960s. Back then, the Department of Defense called itARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency network) and it was intended to link researchfacilities, defense contractors, and government agencies. The first public demonstration ofARPAnet was in 1972 and technicians proudly displayed a network that connected 50 universitiesand research facilities. Today there are millions of computers on the Internet. Electronic mail(e-mail) and Usenet (short for “user network”) news groups were the first applications.
Telnetgave a researcher on one campus the ability to use a computer on another campus. The Universityof Minnesota developed a “gopher” program to help users find information and “go for” it. Forerunners of todays Web-based search engines included Archie and Veronica. Those whonamed the services were at least inventive. The classified ARPAnet spawned an unclassifiedMilnet together known as DARPAnet.
In the late 1980s, the National Science Foundation builtMarsh 2NSFnet. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration cobbled together a network. These,and a variety of regional networks, were consolidated to create the Internet under NSFsupervision. Today the government is more or less out of the picture. Local Internet serviceproviders (ISP) and Internet presence providers (IPP) collect fees from users andpay network operators for access to the system. Its more chaos than organization, but somehowthe Internet manages to function.
It is the new “place to be” where business can advance andpeople can interact worldwide at the click of a mouse. This almost unlimited access to informationhas revolutionarily changed the world. There are millions of Internet members worldwide and thatmeans it may be viewed by some as a very profitable arena. In any area where there is moneythere are almost always criminals.
The modern criminals of the world are behind computerscreens. Whether they appear to be credible individuals, corporations or organizations, that theyare constantly seeking and finding a quick way to make money and often by doing so they arebreaking ethical rules of society (even though it is hard to determine the ethics of the Internet). One of these crimes is the violation of the privacy of others. Many times previously I have logged on to the Internet and just like most people, I havefelt safe. After all, I am the only one viewing my mail or simply cruising the net.
When I amsurfing the Internet I think I am the only one that knows where I have been and assume that noone is tracking me. After all, the things I have just mentioned only happen in the movies, they areEnemy of the State type of things, and could not possibly happen to you. Am I right? Wrong. By holding this thought one is including themselves “in a large group of consumers, world-wide,who are unaware of the multitude of information they are placing on the World Wide Web,simply by using it as it was designed to be used. All it takes is a visit to any site to place personalMarsh 3information about yourself on the Internet for millions to access. To understand the Internetrequires one to view it not as a one way street, but as a two-way road.
The one way view of theInternet is that it provides us with information and entertainment. This generally is what manypeople use the Internet for, and, though it is not totally wrong, there is much more to it. While anindividual is surfing the net, the people that maintain the web sites are also getting informationabout you. It is a two .