Discovery - Aleks In Wonderland - The History Of The Internet [world Service]

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01The Origin of the Internet20170904

The origins of the internet, and why nobody thought of making it secure

Just how did the Internet become the most powerful communications medium on the planet, and why does it seem to be an uncontrollable medium for good and bad? With no cross border regulation the internet can act as an incredible force for connecting people and supporting human rights and yet at the same time convey the most offensive material imaginable. It has become the most useful research tool on earth but also the most effective way of delivering threats to the security of governments, the health service and on a personal level our own identities.

In this series Aleks Krotoski unravels the complexity of the internet, meeting the people who really invented it, looking behind the myths and cultural constructs to explain what it actually is and how it came to exist outside of conventional regulation. We’ll ask whether the nature of the net itself really is cause for concern - and if so what can be done to reign in the negatives of the internet without restricting the positives?

In this first episode we go back to the days before the internet to look at the cultural and technological landscape from which it grew, and unravel some of the key moments - now lost in time and obscured by technology folklore, which mark when the internet lost its innocence.

Picture: Mechanical computer keyboard blurred, credit: OSchaumann/Getty

01The Origin Of The Internet20170904

The origins of the internet, and why nobody thought of making it secure

Just how did the Internet become the most powerful communications medium on the planet, and why does it seem to be an uncontrollable medium for good and bad? With no cross border regulation the internet can act as an incredible force for connecting people and supporting human rights and yet at the same time convey the most offensive material imaginable. It has become the most useful research tool on earth but also the most effective way of delivering threats to the security of governments, the health service and on a personal level our own identities.

In this series Aleks Krotoski unravels the complexity of the internet, meeting the people who really invented it, looking behind the myths and cultural constructs to explain what it actually is and how it came to exist outside of conventional regulation. We’ll ask whether the nature of the net itself really is cause for concern - and if so what can be done to reign in the negatives of the internet without restricting the positives?

In this first episode we go back to the days before the internet to look at the cultural and technological landscape from which it grew, and unravel some of the key moments - now lost in time and obscured by technology folklore, which mark when the internet lost its innocence.

Picture: Mechanical computer keyboard blurred, credit: OSchaumann/Getty

02Dark Side of the World Wide Web20170911

Did the World Wide Web's Utopian ideals spread crime and obscenity?

With the coming of the World Wide Web in the 1990s internet access opened up to everybody, it was no longer the preserve of academics and computer hobbyists. Already prior to the Web, the burgeoning internet user groups and chat rooms had tested what was acceptable behaviour online, but access was still limited.

Aleks Krotoski asks whether the Web through enabling much wider use of the internet is the villain of the piece in facilitating not just entertainment and commerce, but all aspects of the darker side, from malicious computer hacking attacks, worms and viruses, to new channels for criminality, online extortion and identity theft.

(Photo: Internet sign. Credit: code6d)

02Dark Side Of The World Wide Web20170911

Did the World Wide Web's Utopian ideals spread crime and obscenity?

With the coming of the World Wide Web in the 1990s internet access opened up to everybody, it was no longer the preserve of academics and computer hobbyists. Already prior to the Web, the burgeoning internet user groups and chat rooms had tested what was acceptable behaviour online, but access was still limited.

Aleks Krotoski asks whether the Web through enabling much wider use of the internet is the villain of the piece in facilitating not just entertainment and commerce, but all aspects of the darker side, from malicious computer hacking attacks, worms and viruses, to new channels for criminality, online extortion and identity theft.

(Photo: Internet sign. Credit: code6d)

03Internet of Things20170918

"Can we Control the Dark Side of the Internet?

Can we Control the Dark Side of the Internet?

The Internet is the world's most widely used communications tool. It’s a fast and efficient way of delivering information. However it is also quite dumb, neutral, treating equally all the data it passes around the world. From data that forms scientific research papers, the wealth of social media to keep us all connected with friends and relatives, entertainment or material we would rather not see- from political propaganda to horrific violence, the Internet makes no distinction.

Is it time to change that? And can we?
In this programme Aleks Krotoski looks at whether it’s possible to use technological fixes to regulate the internet or whether a more political approach is needed to governance of this vital but flawed communications medium.

Picture: Human Hand Using Application on Mobile Phone, Credit: Onfokus

"

03Internet of Things20170918

Can we Control the Dark Side of the Internet?

Can we Control the Dark Side of the Internet?

The Internet is the world's most widely used communications tool. It’s a fast and efficient way of delivering information. However it is also quite dumb, neutral, treating equally all the data it passes around the world. From data that forms scientific research papers, the wealth of social media to keep us all connected with friends and relatives, entertainment or material we would rather not see- from political propaganda to horrific violence, the Internet makes no distinction.

Is it time to change that? And can we?
In this programme Aleks Krotoski looks at whether it’s possible to use technological fixes to regulate the internet or whether a more political approach is needed to governance of this vital but flawed communications medium.

Picture: Human Hand Using Application on Mobile Phone, Credit: Onfokus