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  Al Gore Claimed That He Was Responsible for The Creation of the Internet-Truth!

 

 

 

bulletSummary of eRumor: 
Al Gore has made statements that he is the creator of the Internet.
bulletThe Truth:  
This comes from a television interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that was aired on March 9,1999.  TruthOrFiction.com has a transcript of the entire broadcast.  Vice President Gore was not yet a formal candidate for the presidency, but was clearly setting the stage for it, and Blitzer's questions focused on his potential campaign.  At one point, Blitzer asked Gore why the Democrats should support him over rival Bill Bradley.  Gore answered, "Well, I will -- I'll be offering my vision when my campaign begins, and it'll be comprehensive and sweeping, and I hope that it'll be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be. But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Some of the emails criticizing Gore for this statement point out that Gore has often shown ignorance about computers, so how could he have created the Internet?  He did not claim, however, to be a computer geek who toiled in his basement and came up with the idea.  He did claim that somehow as a member of congress he not only played in role in creating the Internet, but "took the initiative" to do it.  

To his credit, Al Gore has participated in advancing information technology.  When he was a senator, he supported funding for NSFNet through the High Performance Computing Act that became law in 1991.  He wrote guest columns for Byte magazine that reflected an appreciation of technology.  But even his supporters have to say that any notion of having created the Internet is tough to stomach.

According to the encyclopedia Britannica, the Internet dates back to at least 1973 and in an article that broke the Gore story, Declan McCullagh of Wired News says the Net goes back as far as 1967 when Al gore was 19 years old.  The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency started experimenting with ways to allow networked computers to link and communicate.  It was called The Internetting project and the ultimate system became known as The Internet.  In a related article on March 11, 1999 in Wired News, McCullagh says Gore has introduced bills about software for teachers and a "federal research center for educational computing to support an "information systems highway."  

We've never found any explanation by Gore as to why he made the claim, but he did have a sense of humor about it.  At a meeting of Democratic leaders, he said, " I was pretty tired when I made that comment because I had been up very late the night before inventing the camcorder."

 

 


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