In the early 1960's, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) became very concerned about the possible effects of nuclear attack on its computing facilities. As a result, it began to examine ways to connect their computers to each other and to weapons installations that were distributed all over the world. The DOD charged the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (now known as DARPA) to fund research that would lead to the creation of a
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e-mail directly to MCI Mail and CompuServe addresses. The NSF justified this limited commercial use of the Internet as a service that would primarily benefit the Internet's noncommercial users.
In 1991, the NSF eased its restrictions on the Internet commercial activity and began implementing plans to eventually privatize much of the Internet. Businesses and individuals began to connect to the Internet in ever-increasing numbers. From 1991 there was almost one million to 1997 there were over twenty million.