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Ingenuity in Isolation: Poland in the International History of the Internet

Abstract : The popular understanding of the invention of the Internet is that it was the work of researchers in the United States working in relative isolation. However, the Internet is about connection, and so its success required the independently developed networks of the international community. By analyzing early network development in politically isolated Poland toward the end of the Cold War, one sees development concurrent to the development of the Internet but separated technologically through CoCom trade embargoes. By analyzing information technology periodicals, FidoNet newsletters, and other sources, a number of projects have been identified: data distribution over radio and the use of computer networks to protest communist propaganda. In addition to these amateur efforts, we learned about commercial products and academic research. While these efforts were not successful in a conventional sense, they do demonstrate how the computer industry and network research in Poland played an important role despite the political restrictions.
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Christopher Leslie, Patrick Gryczka. Ingenuity in Isolation: Poland in the International History of the Internet. 11th IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC), Jul 2014, Turku, Finland. pp.162-175, ⟨10.1007/978-3-662-44208-1_14⟩. ⟨hal-01383055⟩

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