What Did Al Gore Have To Do With The Internet?

I've read several times on the web that Al Gore invented the internet.
Many people believe that so I was wondering if it's true.
If it's not, what did Al Gore have to do with the internet?

People keep referring to Al Gore's quote that he invented the internet. What was this all about?
I even remember president bush mocking Al Gore for this, and many politicians joke about it.
Did Vice-President Al Gore ever claim that he "invented" the Internet?

asked by Philip in Internet | 2653 views | 06-02-2010 at 03:46 AM

Former United States Vice President Al Gore did not invent the Internet. However, Al Gore's contributions to the development of the Internet as we know it were quite significant.

To understand how this story got started, it's important to understand what Gore actually said, how his words have been maliciously misinterpreted, and what his actual contributions were as a politician.

Gore never claimed that he "invented" the Internet, which implies that he engineered the technology. The invention occurred in the seventies and allowed scientists in the Defense Department to communicate with each other. In a March 1999 interview with Wolf Blitzer, Gore said, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

In context, it's obvious that Gore was only claiming to have moved the Internet forward at the governmental level, but all his enemies took this statement to make fun of him.

Gore co-sponsored the legislation that created defensenet, a project that military computers and later grew into the worldwide web.

He was pretty much the "Alpha Geek" in the senate from the early 80's, sponsoring and promoting internet related legislation and helping remove the legal obstacles to make the modern internet possible.

Clearly, although Gore's phrasing might have been a bit clumsy (and perhaps self-serving), he was not claiming that he "invented" the Internet (in the sense of having designed or implemented it), but that he was responsible, in an economic and legislative sense, for fostering the development the technology that we now know as the Internet.

answered by Celine | 06-02-2010 at 03:49 AM

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