Slava Gerovitch does a very good job in presenting the history of Soviet Union's quest for the Internet, this little articles will provide readers the necessary information to efficiently compare American and Soviet developments in this field of technological development. The Internet we use today traces its roots to Arpanet which was basically a system of computers interconnected in order to share processing power. The Soviet Union also envisioned a 'web' of computers in order to control/monitor labor, production and retail, meaning the economy. Glushkov went so far as to propose the elimination of paper money and the implementation of a complete electronic payment system, and he did this in the early 60s. The proposal did not manage to make itself popular.
In October 1961, the Soviet Union made public its intention to 'computerize' their economy, this intention did not remain unnoticed. 'Rest assured', the CIA created a branch to study Soviet cybernetics. Two of the reasons the USSR did not achieve what it set out to achieve was that almost all the various agencies and ministries were in some kind of weird competition that did not leave much room for communication, that is why various computer 'webs' came into existence in the same time with no central system to link them, although, ironically, the plan was to have a centralized system. The second reason was that the military-industrial complex did not have much to talk about with the civilian world, military innovations almost never saw any use in any civilian industry, this certainly was/is not the case in the US.
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