How the USSR Invented the Early Internet


Although the internet that dominates the Western world has a distinct history of the (often ingenious) development of computer technology in the US, France and Great Britain, the fact remains that it was in the Soviet Union that the idea of integrating modern computers took-root. Another important point is that within Communist China a ‘Quantum Satellite’ has already been successfully launched into Earth’s Orbit – designed to augment the ‘Quantum Computer’ – a combination that will eventually make the current (Western) internet obsolete. Whereas US academics continue on their well-practised trajectory of misrepresenting the history of the USSR (suggesting that America ‘invented’ the internet and the Soviet Union spent its times fruitlessly trying to ‘catch-up’), I thought I would approach one or two of my trusted academic colleagues in Russia and see what the real history of computer technology was in the USSR. As usual, I was not disappointed. It would appear that in 1959 (a decade before anything similar in the US), Soviet scientists had developed and applied the principles of the ‘modern’ internet.

The first computers were connected directly to the terminals and were used by individuals, usually in the same building or room. Such networks became known as Local Area Network (LAN). Networks that could go beyond the local, were termed ‘WAN’ (or ‘Wide Area Network), and appeared in their basic form in the 1950s – being developed further in the 1960’s. The foundation for the ‘internet’ in the USSR evolved out of the need for ‘integrated’ computer networks to command and control missile air-defense systems. This ‘integrated’ approach generated a missile-shield over the USSR that could be ‘programmed’ for various scenarios and potentially react far quicker than the human eye and decision-making process in times of national emergency. Missile-fire could be rapidly (and devastatingly) deployed, concentrated, relocated and suddenly ‘stopped’ when required. This was controlled between 1955-1960 by the OBP system ‘A’ – a local computer network premised upon the use of the M 40 computer, which administered Soviet air-defense at the time.

This was replaced in 1961, by the Main Command and Computing Centre (GKVTS) with a computer complex (Kubinka) and data transmission system ‘Cable’ (later – 5TS53) – a local computer network belonging to the PRO A-35 system. This was developed in 1971 into ‘Command-Computing Point 5K80’ through the computer system ‘Elbrus’ (Pushkino, Moscow region) and ‘Zarya’, (Balashikha, Moscow region) – a local computer network of the A-135 PRO system type.

Within Soviet Civil Society during the 1960’s there was developed the integrated computer technology known as ‘Sirena’ — or ‘specialized data transmission networks and data processing systems’, an automated system for managing the reservation of tickets, seats and cash operations throughout USSR airlines. In 1972 there developed the ‘Express’ – or ‘specialized data transmission networks and data processing systems’, a fully automated system for managing reservation of tickets, seats and cash operations throughout the USSR rail service.

In 1959, however, Soviet scientists developed the ‘National Automated Information Accounting and Processing System’ (OGAS) – a Civil Project designed as an automated control system for the economy of the USSR based upon the principles of cybernetics, including a computer network connecting data collection centres located in all regions of the country. From this the Central Government of the USSR could micro-manage the Soviet economy and ensure a smooth trajectory of progressive (Socialist) development. Any threat of the development of the usual ‘booms’, ‘busts’ and ‘troughs’ associated with predatory capitalism could be easily identified and eradicated at source BEFORE manifesting within society and causing the usual suffering throughout the populace. This unique Soviet development should probably be interpreted as the basis for the ‘modern’ internet as eventually developed in the West.

Meanwhile, in 1960 there was developed the ‘Integrated Defense-Offensive Ocean-Land-Space Complex’. This emerged from the field of military-space technology under the leadership of V.N. Chelomey. Initially, the complex was developed as a new missile defense system of the country in the framework of the competition to replace the experimental system ‘A’. This new system included the basis for air-defence deployment and activation to ‘predict’ enemy movement and react accordingly.

The dramatic development of Soviet technology had its foundations within the Scientific Socialism of Marx and Engels, and the guidance of Soviet development through the Communist Party as led by Lenin and (later) Stalin. Indeed, the lessons learned from the ‘Great Patriotic War’ (1941-1945), and the period of widespread ‘reconstruction’ (1945-1953) under Stalin led directly to the tremendous Civil and Military development of computer technology in the Soviet Union throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, etc. Whereas the US Cold War effort sought to aggressively ‘attack’ and ‘destroy’ the USSR (through NATO), (whilst simultaneously misrepresenting the USSR as the ‘aggressor’), the Soviet Union sought to peacefully develop Civil ‘Socialist’ Society whilst developing the capacity to ‘defend’ that society from US nuclear attack. In the meantime, from 1969 onward, the US (whilst planning to use nuclear weapons to preserve its ‘capitalism’), strove to find a computer network that could survive a counter-nuclear attack (with the telephone lines of the time being deemed too fragile). Out of this preparation for war, the US (and its allies) developed the ‘modern’ internet, but Russian language sources do suggest that Soviet scientists were more than willing to create an alternative ‘internet’ but that the Communist Party thought that this might be construed by the US as an ‘aggressive’ act. The point of the (Western) internet emerged out of the desire to keep all Military-Civil Districts a) communicating and b) functioning after a nuclear exchange. This ‘internet’ (which only originally covered the USA and was controlled by the military) now covers most of the world. (Communist China uses the ‘Western’ internet technology whilst ‘rejecting’ much of its bourgeois content).

Russian Language Source Text:История_Интернета#СССР


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