The Internet's form today is the product of evolution over the past thirty years, but it had it's beginning in the late 1960s, when the U.S. Defense Department began the Internet as a military research project. The government wanted a national network that could withstand a nuclear attack, which, if one section failed, could still transmit information via alternate routes. The network quickly grew to include scientists, researchers, schools, businesses and libraries around the world and became what you see today. It is the largest computer system in the world and allows you to view electronic mail, discussion groups, information on virtually any subject, shop and purchase products.