Internet – Wikipedia – ABOUT MAG 2020

Global system of connected computer networks

Internet users per 100 members of the population and GDP per capita for selected countries.

The Internet is the global interconnected system computer network who uses the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP / IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a network of networks which consists of private, public, academic, commercial and governmental networks, from local to global, linked by a wide variety of electronic, wireless and optical network technologies. The Internet has a wide range of information resources and services, such as the interconnected hypertext documents and forms of World Wide Web (WWW), E-mail, telephonyand file sharing.

The origins of the Internet go back to the development of packet switching and research commissioned by United States Department of Defense in the 1960s to allow time sharing mainframe computers.[1] The primary parent network, the ARPANET, initially served as the backbone of interconnecting regional academic and military networks in the 1970s. National Network of the Scientific Foundation as a new backbone in the 1980s, as well as private funding for other commercial extensions, led to worldwide participation in the development of new network technologies and the merger of many networks.[2] The connection of networks and commercial companies in the early 1990s marked the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet,[3] and generated sustained exponential growth as generations of folksand Mobile computers were connected to the network. Although the Internet has been widely used by Academy in the 1980s, commercialization incorporated its services and technologies into virtually every aspect of modern life.

Most traditional media, including telephony, radio, television, paper mail and newspapers, are reformulated, redefined or even ignored by the Internet, giving rise to new services, such as the e-mail, Internet telephony, Internet Television, online music, digital newspapers and streaming video sites. Newspapers, books and other printed publications are adapting to Internet network location technology, or are remodeled blogging, web feeds and online news aggregators. The Internet has allowed and accelerated new forms of personal interactions through instant message, Internet forumsand social network. Online shopping grew exponentially for both major retailers and small business and entrepreneursbecause it allows companies to expand their “brick and mortar“presence to serve a larger market or even sell goods and services entirely online. From company to company and financial services on the Internet affect supply networks in entire industries.

The Internet does not have centralized governance unique to technological implementation or access and use policies; each constituency defines its own policies.[4] The exaggerated definitions of the two main namespaces on the Internet, Internet Protocol Address Space (IP address) and the Domain Name System (DNS), are run by a sponsoring organization, the Internet corporation for assigned names and numbers (I CAN). The technical basis and standardization of the main protocols is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a non-profit organization of international participants with little affiliation that anyone can join, contributing with technical knowledge.[5] In November 2006, the Internet was included in USA todays list of New Seven Wonders.[6]


When the term Internet is used to refer to the specific global interconnected system internet protocol Networks (IP), the word is a own name according Chicago Style Manual[7] which must be written with an initial capital letter. In common use and in the media, it is often not capitalized, viz. the Internet. Some guides specify that the word should be capitalized when used as a noun, but not capitalized when used as an adjective.[8] The Internet is also often called the net, as a short form of network. Historically, as early as 1849, the word Internetted was used not capitalized as an adjective, meaning interconnected or intertwined.[9] The designers of the first computer networks used Internet both as a noun and as a verb in the abbreviated form of internetwork or internetworking, that is, interconnecting computer networks.[10][11]

The terms Internet and World Wide Web they are often used interchangeably in everyday speech; it is common to speak of “going on the internet“when using a web browser to see web pages. However, the World Wide Web or the web it is just one of a large number of Internet services.[12][13] The Web is a collection of interconnected documents (web pages) and other web resources, bound by hyperlinks and URLs.[14] The term Interweb it is a suitcase of Internet and World Wide Web usually used sarcastically to parody a technically inexperienced user.


The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense funded research on time sharing of computers in the 1960s.[15][16][3] Meanwhile, research on packet switching, one of the fundamental technologies of the Internet, initiated in the work of Paul Baran in the early 60s and regardless, Donald Davies in 1965.[17][18] Packet switching has been incorporated into the proposed project for the ARPANET in 1967 and other packet-switched networks, such as NPL Network, a Merit Networkand CYCLADES that were developed in the late 60s and early 70s.[19]

The development of ARPANET started with two network nodes interconnected between the Network Measurement Center in University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences directed by Leonard Kleinrockand the NLS system in SRI International (SRI) by Douglas Engelbart at the Menlo Park, California, on October 29, 1969.[20] The third location was the Culler-Fried Interactive Math Center, at University of California, Santa Barbarafollowed by Utah University Graphics Department. In a sign of future growth, fifteen sites were connected to the young ARPANET by the end of 1971.[21][22] Those early years were documented in the 1972 film Computer networks: the harbingers of resource sharing.

The first international collaborations for ARPANET were rare. The connections were made in 1973 to the Norwegian Seismic Matrix (NORSAR) through a satellite station in Tanum, Sweden and Peter Kirsteinresearch group University College London which provided a gateway to British academic networks.[23][24][25] The ARPANET project and international working groups led to the development of several protocols and standards by which multiple separate networks can become a single network or “a network of networks”.[26] In 1974, Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn used the term Internet as an abbreviation for internetwork at the RFC 675,[11] and then RFCs repeated that use.[27] Credit Cerf and Khan Louis Pouzin with important influences on TCP / IP Project. Commercial PTT suppliers were concerned with developing X.25 public data networks.[28]

Access to ARPANET was expanded in 1981, when the National Science Foundation (NSF) financed the Computer Science Network (CSNET). In 1982, the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP / IP) was standardized, which allowed the worldwide proliferation of interconnected networks. Access to the TCP / IP network expanded again in 1986, when the National Network of the Scientific Foundation (NSFNet) provided access to supercomputer sites in the United States for researchers, first at speeds of 56 kbit / s and then at 1.5 Mbit / s and 45 Mbit / s.[29] NSFNet expanded to academic and research organizations in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan in 1988–9.[30][31][32][33] Although other network protocols, such as UUCP had a global reach well before that period, it marked the beginning of the Internet as an intercontinental network. Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) appeared in 1989 in the United States and Australia.[34] ARPANET was deactivated in 1990.

Constant advances in semiconductor technology and optical network created new economic opportunities for commercial involvement in the expansion of the network in its essence and for the provision of services to the public. In mid-1989, MCI Mail and Compuserve established connections to the Internet, delivering publicly accessible products and e-mail to half a million Internet users.[35] Just a few months later, on January 1, 1990, PSInet launched an alternative Internet backbone for commercial use; one of the networks that have been added to the core of the commercial Internet in recent years. In March 1990, the first high-speed T1 link (1.5 Mbit / s) between NSFNET and Europe was installed between Cornell University and CERN, allowing communications much more robust than they were capable with satellites.[36] Six months later Tim Berners-Lee would start writing World Wide Web, the first web browser after two years of lobbying CERN’s management. By Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had built all the tools necessary for a functioning Web: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 0.9,[37] The Hypertext markup language (HTML), the first web browser (which was also a HTML editor and could access Usenet newsgroups and FTP files), the first HTTP server software (later known as CERN httpd), the first web server,[38] and the first web pages that describe the project itself. In 1991, the Commercial exchange on the Internet was founded, allowing PSInet to communicate with the other CERFnet and Alternet commercial networks. Stanford Federal Credit Union was the first financial institution offer online banking services on the Internet to all its members in October 1994.[39] In 1996 OP Financial Group, also a cooperative bank, became the second online bank in the world and the first in Europe.[40] In 1995, the Internet was fully marketed in the USA when NSFNet was deactivated, removing the latest restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic.[41]

As technology’s advanced and commercial opportunities fueled reciprocal growth, the volume of internet traffic began to experience characteristics similar to the scale of MOS transistors, exemplified by Moore’s Law, doubling every 18 months. This growth, formalized as Edholm’s Law, was catalyzed by advances in MOS technology, laser light wave systems and noise performance.[44]

Since 1995, the Internet has had a tremendous impact on culture and commerce, including an increase in near-instant email communication, instant message, telephony (Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP), bidirectional interactive video calls, and the World Wide Web[45] with your discussion forumsblogs social networkand online shopping sites. Increasing amounts of data are transmitted at ever higher speeds over fiber optic networks that operate at 1 Gbit / s, 10 Gbit / s or more. The Internet continues to grow, driven by increasing amounts of information and knowledge online, commerce, entertainment and social network.[46] In the late 1990s, traffic on the public Internet was estimated to grow by 100% per year, while the average annual growth in the number of Internet users was thought to be between 20% and 50%.[47] This growth is generally attributed to the lack of central management, which allows organic growth of the network, as well as the non-proprietary nature of Internet protocols, which encourage supplier interoperability and prevent a company from exercising too much control over the network. .[48] As of March 31, 2011, the estimated total number of internet users was 2.095 billion (30.2% of the world population).[49] It is estimated that in 1993 the Internet carried only 1% of the information that flows through telecommunicationin 2000, that number had increased to 51% and in 2007 more than 97% of all telecommunications information was carried over the Internet.[50]


The Internet is a global network which comprises many autonomous networks voluntarily interconnected. It operates without a central government agency. The technical basis and standardization of the main protocols (IPv4 and IPv6) is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a non-profit organization of international participants with little affiliation that anyone can join, contributing with technical knowledge. In order to maintain interoperability, the main namespaces Internet are administered by the Internet corporation for assigned names and numbers (I CAN). ICANN is governed by an international board formed by technical, commercial, academic and other non-commercial Internet communities. ICANN coordinates the assignment of unique identifiers for use on the Internet, including domain names, IP addresses, application port numbers in transport protocols and many other parameters. Globally unified namespaces are essential to maintaining the global reach of the Internet. This role of ICANN distinguishes it as perhaps the only central coordinating body for the global Internet.[51]

Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) have been established for five regions of the world. The African Network Information Center (AfriNIC) for Africa, a American registry for Internet numbers (ARIN) for North America, a Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) for Asia and the Pacific Region, a Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC) for Latin America and the Caribbean region and Réseaux IP Européens – Network Coordination Center (RIPE NCC) for Europe, a middle Eastand Central Asia were delegated to assign Internet Protocol address blocks and other Internet parameters to local records, such as Internet service providers, a set of designated addresses reserved for each region.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency of United States Department of Commerce, had final approval on changes to the DNS root zone until the IANA administration transition on October 1, 2016.[52][53][54][55] The Internet Society (ISOC) was founded in 1992 with the mission of “ensuring open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people around the world”.[56] Its members include individuals (anyone can participate), in addition to corporations, organizations, governments and universities. Among other activities, ISOC provides an administrative location for several less formally organized groups that are involved in the development and management of the Internet, including: Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Architecture Council (IAB), Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) and Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG). On November 16, 2005, the United Nations-sponsored organization World Summit on the Information Society at the Tunis established the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to discuss issues related to the Internet.

The infrastructure

2007 map showing submarine fiber optic telecommunications cables worldwide.

The Internet’s communication infrastructure consists of its hardware components and a system of software layers that control various aspects of the architecture. As with any computer network, the Internet physically consists of routers, media (such as cables and radio links), repeaters, modems, etc. However, as an example of internetworking, many of the network nodes are not necessarily Internet equipment per se, Internet packets are transported by other complete network protocols, with the Internet acting as a homogeneous network standard, running heterogeneous hardware, with packets guided to their destinations by IP routers.

Routing and service levels

Packet routing over the Internet involves multiple layers of Internet service providers.

Internet service providers (ISPs) establish worldwide connectivity between individual networks at various levels of scope. End users who access the Internet only when needed to perform a function or obtain information represent the bottom of the routing hierarchy. At the top of the routing hierarchy are level 1 networks, large telecommunications companies that exchange traffic directly with each other at very high speeds fiber optic cables and ruled by facing agreements. Level 2 lower level networks and buy Internet traffic from other providers to reach at least some parts of the global Internet, although they can also engage in peering. An ISP can use a single upstream provider for connectivity or implement multihoming for redundancy and load balancing. Internet exchange points they are large exchanges of traffic with physical connections to various ISPs. Large organizations, such as academic institutions, large companies and governments, can perform the same function as ISPs, engaging in peering and buying traffic on behalf of their internal networks. Research networks tend to interconnect with large subnets, such as GEANT, GLORIAD, Internet2and the UK national research and education network, JANET. The Internet’s IP routing structure and the World Wide Web hypertext links are examples of nonstop networks.[57][[[[disputed (to: it is not clear whether the quote supports the claim empirically) ] Computers and routers use routing tables on your operating system to direct IP packets to the next hop router or destination. The routing tables are maintained by manual configuration or automatically by the routing protocols. End nodes generally use a Standard Route that points to an ISP that provides traffic, while ISP routers use the Border gateway protocol to establish the most efficient routing over complex global Internet connections.

It is estimated that 70% of the world’s Internet traffic goes through Ashburn, Virginia.[58][59][60][61]


Common methods of Internet access by users include dial-up access to a computer modem via telephone circuits, broadband about coaxial cable, optical fiber or copper wires, Wi-Fi, satelliteand cell phone technology (for example, 3G, 4G) The Internet can generally be accessed from computers in libraries and internet cafes. Internet access points they exist in many public places, such as airport rooms and cafes. Various terms are used, such as public internet kiosk, public access terminaland Network public phone. Many hotels also have public terminals that are generally fee-based. These terminals are widely accessed for various uses, such as ticket reservation, bank deposit or online payment. Wi-Fi provides wireless access to the Internet through local computer networks. Access points providing that access includes Wi-Fi cafes, where users need to bring their own wireless devices, such as a laptop or PDA. These services can be free for everyone, just for customers or fee-based.

Grassroots efforts led to wireless community networks. Commercial Wi-Fi services that cover large areas are available in many cities, such as New York, London, Vienna, Toronto, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago and Pittsburgh, where the Internet can be accessed from places like a garden bench.[62] Experiments were also carried out with proprietary mobile wireless networks such as Ricochet, various high-speed data services over cellular networks and fixed wireless services. Modern smartphones You can also access the Internet through your mobile operator’s network. For web browsing, these devices provide applications like Google Chrome, Safariand fire Fox and a wide variety of other Internet software can be installed in app stores. Internet usage by mobile devices and tablets exceeded the desktop worldwide for the first time in October 2016.[63]

Mobile communication

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimated that, by the end of 2017, 48% of individual users regularly connect to the Internet, against 34% in 2012.[64] Mobile Internet connectivity has played an important role in expanding access in recent years, especially in Asia and Pacific is on Africa.[65] The number of exclusive mobile phone subscriptions increased from 3.89 billion in 2012 to 4.83 billion in 2016, two-thirds of the world population, with more than half of the subscriptions located in Asia and the Pacific. The number of subscriptions is expected to increase to 5.69 billion users in 2020.[66] From 2016almost 60% of the world population had access to a 4G broadband cellular network, above almost 50% in 2015 and 11% in 2012[[[[disputed ].[66] The limits that users face to access information through mobile applications coincide with a broader process of fragmentation of the Internet. Fragmentation restricts access to media content and tends to affect poorer users more.[65]

Zero rating, the practice of Internet service providers Allowing users to access specific content or applications free of charge, offered opportunities to overcome economic hurdles, but was also accused by its critics for creating a two-tier Internet. To solve the problems with zero classification, an alternative model has emerged in the concept of ‘equal classification’ and is being tested in experiments by Mozilla and orange at the Africa. Equal rating avoids prioritizing a content type and assigns all content up to a specified data limit to zero. A study published by Chatham House, 15 of the 19 countries surveyed in Latin America had some kind of hybrid or zero-rating product offered. Some countries in the region had several plans to choose from (across all mobile network operators), while others, such as Colombia, offered up to 30 prepaid and 34 postpaid plans.[67]

A study of eight countries in the Global South found that there are zero-rated data plans in all countries, although there is a wide range in the frequency with which they are offered and actually used in each country.[68] The study looked at the top three to five operators by market share in Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru and the Philippines. In the 181 plans examined, 13% were offering zero-rated services. Another study, covering Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, found FacebookFree Basics and Wikipedia Zero to be the most common zero-rated content.[69]

Internet Protocol Suite

Internet standards describe a structure known as Internet Protocol Suite (also called TCP / IP, based on the first two components.) This is a model architecture that divides methods into one layered protocol system, originally documented in RFC 1122 and RFC 1123.


The software layers correspond to the environment or scope in which your services operate. At the top is the application layer, space for application-specific networking methods used in software applications. For example, a web browser program uses the client server application model and a specific interaction protocol between servers and clients, while many file sharing systems use a person to person paradigm.

Below that top layer, the transport layer connects applications on different hosts with a logical channel across the network with appropriate methods of data exchange. It provides several services, including reliable and orderly delivery (TCP) and an untrusted datagram service (UDP).

Behind these layers are network technologies that interconnect networks at their borders and exchange traffic between them. The Internet layer implements the internet protocol that allows computers to identify and locate each other Internet Protocol (IP) addressesand route your traffic through intermediate networks (transit).[70] The Internet protocol layer code is independent of the type of network on which it is physically running.

At the bottom of the architecture is the link layer, which provides logical connectivity between hosts. The link layer code is usually the only piece of software customized for the type of physical network link protocol. Many link layers have been implemented and each operates through a type of network link, such as within a local network (LAN) or wide area network (for example. Wi-Fi or Ethernet or one dial-up connection, ATM etc.)

As user data is processed through the protocol stack, each abstraction layer adds encapsulation information to the sending host. The data is transmitted over the wire at the link level between hosts and routers. The encapsulation is removed by the receiving host. The intermediate relays update the link encapsulation with each hop and inspect the IP layer for routing purposes.

Internet Protocol

Conceptual data flow in a simple two-host network topology (AN and B) connected by a link between their respective routers. The application on each host performs read and write operations as if the processes were directly connected to each other by some type of data channel. After establishing this channel, most details of the communication are hidden in each process, as the underlying principles of communication are implemented in the lower layers of the protocol. By analogy, in the transport layer, communication appears as host to host, without knowledge of the data structures of the application and the connected routers, while in the interconnection layer between networks, the individual network boundaries are crossed on each router. .

The most important component of the Internet model is the IP (Internet Protocol). IP allows internetworking and, in essence, establishes the Internet itself. There are two versions of the Internet protocol, IPV4 and IPV6.

IP addresses

A DNS resolver queries three name servers to resolve the domain name visible to the user “” to determine the IPV4 address

To locate individual computers on the network, the Internet provides IP addresses. IP addresses are used by the Internet infrastructure to direct Internet packets to their destinations. They consist of fixed-length numbers found in the package. Generally, IP addresses are assigned to the device automatically via DHCP, or are configured.

However, the network also supports other addressing systems. Users usually sign in domain names (for example, “”) instead of IP addresses because they are easier to remember, they are converted by Domain Name System (DNS) on more efficient IP addresses for routing purposes.


Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) defines an IP address as a 32 bits number.[71] Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) is the initial version used in the first generation of the Internet and is still in dominant use. It was designed to serve up to ≈4.3 billion (109) hosts. However, the explosive growth of the Internet has led to Exhaustion of the IPv4 address, which entered its final phase in 2011,[72] when the global pool of IPv4 address allocation has been exhausted.


Because of the growth of the Internet and the exhaustion of available IPv4 addresses, a new version of IP IPv6, was developed in the mid-1990s, which provides much larger addressing capabilities and more efficient routing of Internet traffic. IPv6 uses 128 bits for the IP address and was standardized in 1998.[73][74][75] IPv6 deployment has been underway since the mid-2000s. IPv6 is currently growing unfolding, development worldwide, since Internet address records (RIRs) began to urge all resource managers to plan for rapid adoption and conversion.[76]

IPv6 is not directly interoperable by design with IPv4. Essentially, it establishes a parallel version of the Internet that is not directly accessible with IPv4 software. Portanto, os recursos de tradução devem existir para redes internas ou os nós devem ter um software de rede duplicado para ambas as redes. Essencialmente, todos os sistemas operacionais de computadores modernos oferecem suporte às duas versões do Protocolo da Internet. A infraestrutura de rede, no entanto, está atrasada nesse desenvolvimento. Além do complexo conjunto de conexões físicas que compõem sua infraestrutura, a Internet é facilitada por contratos comerciais bilaterais ou multilaterais, por exemplo, acordos de peeringe por especificações ou protocolos técnicos que descrevem a troca de dados pela rede. De fato, a Internet é definida por suas interconexões e políticas de roteamento.


Criando uma sub-rede dividindo o identificador de host

UMA sub-rede or sub-rede é uma subdivisão lógica de um Rede IP.[77]:1.16 A prática de dividir uma rede em duas ou mais redes é denominada sub-rede.

Os computadores que pertencem a uma sub-rede são endereçados com um idêntico bit mais significativo-grupo na sua Endereços IP. Isso resulta na divisão lógica de um endereço IP em dois campos, o número de rede or prefixo de roteamento and the campo de descanso or identificador de host. The campo de descanso é um identificador para um específico hospedeiro ou interface de rede.

The prefixo de roteamento pode ser expresso em Encaminhamento inter-domínio sem classe (CIDR) escrita como o primeiro endereço de uma rede, seguida por um caractere de barra (/) e terminando com o tamanho do bit do prefixo. Por exemplo, é o prefixo do Protocolo de Internet versão 4 rede iniciando no endereço fornecido, tendo 24 bits alocados para o prefixo da rede e os 8 bits restantes reservados para o endereçamento do host. Endereços no intervalo for pertencem a esta rede. The IPv6 especificação de endereço 2001: db8 ::/32. é um bloco de endereços grande com 296 endereços, com um prefixo de roteamento de 32 bits.

Para o IPv4, uma rede também pode ser caracterizada por sua máscara de sub-rede or máscara de rede, qual é o bitmask quando aplicado por um AND bit a bit operação para qualquer endereço IP na rede, gera o prefixo de roteamento. Máscaras de sub-rede também são expressas em notação decimal como um endereço. Por exemplo, é a máscara de sub-rede para o prefixo

O tráfego é trocado entre sub-redes através de roteadores quando os prefixos de roteamento do endereço de origem e o endereço de destino forem diferentes. Um roteador serve como um limite lógico ou físico entre as sub-redes.

Os benefícios da sub-rede de uma rede existente variam com cada cenário de implantação. Na arquitetura de alocação de endereços da Internet usando o CIDR e em grandes organizações, é necessário alocar espaço de endereço com eficiência. Subnetting may also enhance routing efficiency, or have advantages in network management when subnetworks are administratively controlled by different entities in a larger organization. Subnets may be arranged logically in a hierarchical architecture, partitioning an organization’s network address space into a tree-like routing structure.


While the hardware components in the Internet infrastructure can often be used to support other software systems, it is the design and the standardization process of the software that characterizes the Internet and provides the foundation for its scalability and success. The responsibility for the architectural design of the Internet software systems has been assumed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).[78] The IETF conducts standard-setting work groups, open to any individual, about the various aspects of Internet architecture. Resulting contributions and standards are published as Request for Comments (RFC) documents on the IETF web site. The principal methods of networking that enable the Internet are contained in specially designated RFCs that constitute the Internet Standards. Other less rigorous documents are simply informative, experimental, or historical, or document the best current practices (BCP) when implementing Internet technologies.

Applications and services

The Internet carries many applications and services, most prominently the World Wide Web, Incluindo social media, electronic mail, mobile applications, multiplayer online games, Internet telephony, file sharingand streaming media services.

Most servers that provide these services are today hosted in data centers, and content is often accessed through high-performance content delivery networks.

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web is a global collection of documents, images, multimedia, applications, and other resources, logically interrelated by hyperlinks and referenced with Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs), which provide a global system of named references. URIs symbolically identify services, web servers, databases, and the documents and resources that they can provide. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the main access protocol of the World Wide Web. Web services also use HTTP for communication between software systems for information transfer, sharing and exchanging business data and logistic and is one of many languages or protocols that can be used for communication on the Internet.[79]

World Wide Web browser software, such as MicrosoftIt’s Internet Explorer/Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Ópera, AppleIt’s Safáriand Google Chrome, lets users navigate from one web page to another via the hyperlinks embedded in the documents. These documents may also contain any combination of computer data, including graphics, sounds, texto, vídeo, multimedia and interactive content that runs while the user is interacting with the page. Client-side software can include animations, games, office applications and scientific demonstrations. Através keyword-driven Internet research using search engines like Yahoo!, Bing and Google, users worldwide have easy, instant access to a vast and diverse amount of online information. Compared to printed media, books, encyclopedias and traditional libraries, the World Wide Web has enabled the decentralization of information on a large scale.

The Web has enabled individuals and organizations to publish ideas and information to a potentially large audience online at greatly reduced expense and time delay. Publishing a web page, a blog, or building a website involves little initial custo and many cost-free services are available. However, publishing and maintaining large, professional web sites with attractive, diverse and up-to-date information is still a difficult and expensive proposition. Many individuals and some companies and groups use web logs or blogs, which are largely used as easily updatable online diaries. Some commercial organizations encourage staff to communicate advice in their areas of specialization in the hope that visitors will be impressed by the expert knowledge and free information, and be attracted to the corporation as a result.

Propaganda on popular web pages can be lucrative, and e-commerce, which is the sale of products and services directly via the Web, continues to grow. Online advertising is a form of marketing and advertising which uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to consumers. It includes email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, many types of display advertising (including web banner advertising), and mobile advertising. In 2011, Internet advertising revenues in the United States surpassed those of cable television and nearly exceeded those of broadcast television.[80]:19 Many common online advertising practices are controversial and increasingly subject to regulation.

When the Web developed in the 1990s, a typical web page was stored in completed form on a web server, formatted in HTML, complete for transmission to a web browser in response to a request. Over time, the process of creating and serving web pages has become dynamic, creating a flexible design, layout, and content. Websites are often created using content management software with, initially, very little content. Contributors to these systems, who may be paid staff, members of an organization or the public, fill underlying databases with content using editing pages designed for that purpose while casual visitors view and read this content in HTML form. There may or may not be editorial, approval and security systems built into the process of taking newly entered content and making it available to the target visitors.


O email is an important communications service available on the Internet. The concept of sending electronic text messages between parties in a way analogous to mailing letters or memos predates the creation of the Internet.[81][82] Pictures, documents, and other files are sent as email attachments. Emails can be cc-ed to multiple email addresses.

Internet telephony is another common communications service made possible by the creation of the Internet. VoIP stands for Voice-over-Internet Protocol, referring to the protocol that underlies all Internet communication. The idea began in the early 1990s with walkie-talkie-like voice applications for personal computers. In recent years many VoIP systems have become as easy to use and as convenient as a normal telephone. The benefit is that, as the Internet carries the voice traffic, VoIP can be free or cost much less than a traditional telephone call, especially over long distances and especially for those with always-on Internet connections such as cable or ADSL and mobile data.[83] VoIP is maturing into a competitive alternative to traditional telephone service. Interoperability between different providers has improved and the ability to call or receive a call from a traditional telephone is available. Simple, inexpensive VoIP network adapters are available that eliminate the need for a personal computer.

Voice quality can still vary from call to call, but is often equal to and can even exceed that of traditional calls. Remaining problems for VoIP include emergency telephone number dialing and reliability. Currently,[[[[when?] a few VoIP providers provide an emergency service, but it is not universally available. Older traditional phones with no “extra features” may be line-powered only and operate during a power failure; VoIP can never do so without a backup power source for the phone equipment and the Internet access devices. VoIP has also become increasingly popular for gaming applications, as a form of communication between players. Popular VoIP clients for gaming include Ventrilo and Teamspeak. Modern video game consoles also offer VoIP chat features.

Data transfer

Compartilhamento de arquivos is an example of transferring large amounts of data across the Internet. UMA computer file can be emailed to customers, colleagues and friends as an attachment. It can be uploaded to a website or File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server for easy download by others. It can be put into a “shared location” or onto a file server for instant use by colleagues. The load of bulk downloads to many users can be eased by the use of “mirror” servers or peer-to-peer networks. In any of these cases, access to the file may be controlled by user autenticação, the transit of the file over the Internet may be obscured by criptografia, and money may change hands for access to the file. The price can be paid by the remote charging of funds from, for example, a credit card whose details are also passed – usually fully encrypted – across the Internet. The origin and authenticity of the file received may be checked by digital signatures or by MD5 or other message digests. These simple features of the Internet, over a worldwide basis, are changing the production, sale, and distribution of anything that can be reduced to a computer file for transmission. This includes all manner of print publications, software products, news, music, film, video, photography, graphics and the other arts. This in turn has caused seismic shifts in each of the existing industries that previously controlled the production and distribution of these products.

Streaming media is the real-time delivery of digital media for the immediate consumption or enjoyment by end users. Many radio and television broadcasters provide Internet feeds of their live audio and video productions. They may also allow time-shift viewing or listening such as Preview, Classic Clips and Listen Again features. These providers have been joined by a range of pure Internet “broadcasters” who never had on-air licenses. This means that an Internet-connected device, such as a computer or something more specific, can be used to access on-line media in much the same way as was previously possible only with a television or radio receiver. The range of available types of content is much wider, from specialized technical webcasts to on-demand popular multimedia services. Podcasting is a variation on this theme, where – usually audio – material is downloaded and played back on a computer or shifted to a portable media player to be listened to on the move. These techniques using simple equipment allow anybody, with little censorship or licensing control, to broadcast audio-visual material worldwide.

Digital media streaming increases the demand for network bandwidth. For example, standard image quality needs 1 Mbit/s link speed for SD 480p, HD 720p quality requires 2.5 Mbit/s, and the top-of-the-line HDX quality needs 4.5 Mbit/s for 1080p.[84]

Webcams are a low-cost extension of this phenomenon. While some webcams can give full-frame-rate video, the picture either is usually small or updates slowly. Internet users can watch animals around an African waterhole, ships in the Panama Canal, traffic at a local roundabout or monitor their own premises, live and in real time. Video chat rooms and video conferencing are also popular with many uses being found for personal webcams, with and without two-way sound. YouTube was founded on 15 February 2005 and is now the leading website for free streaming video with a vast number of users. It uses an HTML5 based web player by default to stream and show video files.[85] Registered users may upload an unlimited amount of video and build their own personal profile. Youtube claims that its users watch hundreds of millions, and upload hundreds of thousands of videos daily.

Social impact

The Internet has enabled new forms of social interaction, activities, and social associations. This phenomenon has given rise to the scholarly study of the sociology of the Internet.


Share of population using the Internet[86]

From 2000 to 2009, the number of Internet users globally rose from 394 million to 1.858 billion.[89] By 2010, 22 percent of the world’s population had access to computers with 1 billion Google searches every day, 300 million Internet users reading blogs, and 2 billion videos viewed daily on Youtube.[90] In 2014 the world’s Internet users surpassed 3 billion or 43.6 percent of world population, but two-thirds of the users came from richest countries, with 78.0 percent of Europe countries population using the Internet, followed by 57.4 percent of the Americas.[91] However, by 2018, Asia alone accounted for 51% of all Internet users, with 2.2 billion out of the 4.3 billion Internet users in the world coming from that region. The number of China’s Internet users surpassed a major milestone in 2018, when the country’s Internet regulatory authority, China Internet Network Information Centre, announced that China had 802 million Internet users.[92] By 2019, China was the world’s leading country in terms of Internet users, with more than 800 million users, followed closely by India, with some 700 million users, with the United States a distant third with 275 million users. However, in terms of penetration, China has[[[[when?] a 38.4% penetration rate compared to India’s 40% and the United States’s 80%.[93]

The prevalent language for communication via the Internet has always been English. This may be a result of the origin of the Internet, as well as the language’s role as a lingua franca and as a world language. Early computer systems were limited to the characters in the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), a subset of the Latin alphabet.

After English (27%), the most requested languages on the World Wide Web are Chinese (25%), Spanish (8%), Japanese (5%), Portuguese and German (4% each), Arabic, French and Russian (3% each), and Korean (2%).[94] By region, 42% of the world’s Internet users are based in Asia, 24% in Europe, 14% in North America, 10% in Latin America and the Caribbean taken together, 6% in Africa, 3% in the Middle East and 1% in Australia/Oceania.[95] The Internet’s technologies have developed enough in recent years, especially in the use of Unicode, that good facilities are available for development and communication in the world’s widely used languages. However, some glitches such as mojibake (incorrect display of some languages’ characters) still remain.

In an American study in 2005, the percentage of men using the Internet was very slightly ahead of the percentage of women, although this difference reversed in those under 30. Men logged on more often, spent more time online, and were more likely to be broadband users, whereas women tended to make more use of opportunities to communicate (such as email). Men were more likely to use the Internet to pay bills, participate in auctions, and for recreation such as downloading music and videos. Men and women were equally likely to use the Internet for shopping and banking.[96]

More recent studies indicate that in 2008, women significantly outnumbered men on most social networking sites, such as Facebook and Myspace, although the ratios varied with age.[97] In addition, women watched more streaming content, whereas men downloaded more.[98] In terms of blogs, men were more likely to blog in the first place; among those who blog, men were more likely to have a professional blog, whereas women were more likely to have a personal blog.[99]

Splitting by country, in 2012 Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark had the highest Internet penetration by the number of users, with 93% or more of the population with access.[100]

Several neologisms exist that refer to Internet users: Netizen (as in “citizen of the net”)[101] refers to those actively involved in improving online communities, the Internet in general or surrounding political affairs and rights such as free speech,[102][103] Internaut refers to operators or technically highly capable users of the Internet,[104][105] digital citizen refers to a person using the Internet in order to engage in society, politics, and government participation.[106]


The Internet allows greater flexibility in working hours and location, especially with the spread of unmetered high-speed connections. The Internet can be accessed almost anywhere by numerous means, including through mobile Internet devices. Mobile phones, datacards, handheld game consoles and cellular routers allow users to connect to the Internet wirelessly. Within the limitations imposed by small screens and other limited facilities of such pocket-sized devices, the services of the Internet, including email and the web, may be available. Service providers may restrict the services offered and mobile data charges may be significantly higher than other access methods.

Educational material at all levels from pre-school to post-doctoral is available from websites. Examples range from CBeebies, through school and high-school revision guides and virtual universities, to access to top-end scholarly literature through the likes of Google Scholar. For distance education, help with homework and other assignments, self-guided learning, whiling away spare time, or just looking up more detail on an interesting fact, it has never been easier for people to access educational information at any level from anywhere. The Internet in general and the World Wide Web in particular are important enablers of both formal and informal education. Further, the Internet allows universities, in particular, researchers from the social and behavioral sciences, to conduct research remotely via virtual laboratories, with profound changes in reach and generalizability of findings as well as in communication between scientists and in the publication of results.[110]

The low cost and nearly instantaneous sharing of ideas, knowledge, and skills have made collaborative work dramatically easier, with the help of collaborative software. Not only can a group cheaply communicate and share ideas but the wide reach of the Internet allows such groups more easily to form. An example of this is the free software movement, which has produced, among other things, Linux, Mozilla Firefoxand (later forked into LibreOffice) Internet chat, whether using an IRC chat room, an instant messaging system, or a social networking website, allows colleagues to stay in touch in a very convenient way while working at their computers during the day. Messages can be exchanged even more quickly and conveniently than via email. These systems may allow files to be exchanged, drawings and images to be shared, or voice and video contact between team members.

Content management systems allow collaborating teams to work on shared sets of documents simultaneously without accidentally destroying each other’s work. Business and project teams can share calendars as well as documents and other information. Such collaboration occurs in a wide variety of areas including scientific research, software development, conference planning, political activism and creative writing. Social and political collaboration is also becoming more widespread as both Internet access and computer literacy spread.

The Internet allows computer users to remotely access other computers and information stores easily from any access point. Access may be with computer security, i.e. authentication and encryption technologies, depending on the requirements. This is encouraging new ways of working from home, collaboration and information sharing in many industries. An accountant sitting at home can audit the books of a company based in another country, on a server situated in a third country that is remotely maintained by IT specialists in a fourth. These accounts could have been created by home-working bookkeepers, in other remote locations, based on information emailed to them from offices all over the world. Some of these things were possible before the widespread use of the Internet, but the cost of private leased lines would have made many of them infeasible in practice. An office worker away from their desk, perhaps on the other side of the world on a business trip or a holiday, can access their emails, access their data using cloud computing, or open a remote desktop session into their office PC using a secure virtual private network (VPN) connection on the Internet. This can give the worker complete access to all of their normal files and data, including email and other applications, while away from the office. It has been referred to among system administrators as the Virtual Private Nightmare,[111] because it extends the secure perimeter of a corporate network into remote locations and its employees’ homes.

Social networking and entertainment

Many people use the World Wide Web to access news, weather and sports reports, to plan and book vacations and to pursue their personal interests. People use chat, messaging and email to make and stay in touch with friends worldwide, sometimes in the same way as some previously had pen pals. Social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitterand Myspace have created new ways to socialize and interact. Users of these sites are able to add a wide variety of information to pages, to pursue common interests, and to connect with others. It is also possible to find existing acquaintances, to allow communication among existing groups of people. Sites like LinkedIn foster commercial and business connections. YouTube and Flickr specialize in users’ videos and photographs. While social networking sites were initially for individuals only, today they are widely used by businesses and other organizations to promote their brands, to market to their customers and to encourage posts to “go viral“. “Black hat” social media techniques are also employed by some organizations, such as spam accounts and astroturfing.

A risk for both individuals and organizations writing posts (especially public posts) on social networking websites, is that especially foolish or controversial posts occasionally lead to an unexpected and possibly large-scale backlash on social media from other Internet users. This is also a risk in relation to controversial offline behavior, if it is widely made known. The nature of this backlash can range widely from counter-arguments and public mockery, through insults and hate speech, to, in extreme cases, rape and death ameaças. The online disinhibition effect describes the tendency of many individuals to behave more stridently or offensively online than they would in person. A significant number of feminist women have been the target of various forms of harassment in response to posts they have made on social media, and Twitter in particular has been criticised in the past for not doing enough to aid victims of online abuse.[112]

For organizations, such a backlash can cause overall brand damage, especially if reported by the media. However, this is not always the case, as any brand damage in the eyes of people with an opposing opinion to that presented by the organization could sometimes be outweighed by strengthening the brand in the eyes of others. Furthermore, if an organization or individual gives in to demands that others perceive as wrong-headed, that can then provoke a counter-backlash.

Some websites, such as Reddit, have rules forbidding the posting of personal information of individuals (also known as doxxing), due to concerns about such postings leading to mobs of large numbers of Internet users directing harassment at the specific individuals thereby identified. In particular, the Reddit rule forbidding the posting of personal information is widely understood to imply that all identifying photos and names must be censored in Facebook screenshots posted to Reddit. However, the interpretation of this rule in relation to public Twitter posts is less clear, and in any case, like-minded people online have many other ways they can use to direct each other’s attention to public social media posts they disagree with.

Children also face dangers online such as cyberbullying and approaches by sexual predators, who sometimes pose as children themselves. Children may also encounter material which they may find upsetting, or material which their parents consider to be not age-appropriate. Due to naivety, they may also post personal information about themselves online, which could put them or their families at risk unless warned not to do so. Many parents choose to enable Internet filtering, and/or supervise their children’s online activities, in an attempt to protect their children from inappropriate material on the Internet. The most popular social networking websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, commonly forbid users under the age of 13. However, these policies are typically trivial to circumvent by registering an account with a false birth date, and a significant number of children aged under 13 join such sites anyway. Social networking sites for younger children, which claim to provide better levels of protection for children, also exist.[113]

The Internet has been a major outlet for leisure activity since its inception, with entertaining social experiments tal como MUDs and MOOs being conducted on university servers, and humor-related Usenet groups receiving much traffic.[[[[citation needed] Muitos Internet forums have sections devoted to games and funny videos.[[[[citation needed] The Internet pornography and online gambling industries have taken advantage of the World Wide Web. Although many governments have attempted to restrict both industries’ use of the Internet, in general, this has failed to stop their widespread popularity.[114]

Another area of leisure activity on the Internet is multiplayer gaming.[115] This form of recreation creates communities, where people of all ages and origins enjoy the fast-paced world of multiplayer games. These range from MMORPG for first-person shooters, from role-playing video games for online gambling. While online gaming has been around since the 1970s, modern modes of online gaming began with subscription services such as GameSpy and MPlayer.[116] Non-subscribers were limited to certain types of game play or certain games. Many people use the Internet to access and download music, movies and other works for their enjoyment and relaxation. Free and fee-based services exist for all of these activities, using centralized servers and distributed peer-to-peer technologies. Some of these sources exercise more care with respect to the original artists’ copyrights than others.

Internet usage has been correlated to users’ loneliness.[117] Lonely people tend to use the Internet as an outlet for their feelings and to share their stories with others, such as in the “I am lonely will anyone speak to me” thread.

A 2017 book claimed that the Internet consolidates most aspects of human endeavor into singular arenas of which all of humanity are potential members and competitors, with fundamentally negative impacts on mental health as a result. While successes in each field of activity are pervasively visible and trumpeted, they are reserved for an extremely thin sliver of the world’s most exceptional, leaving everyone else behind. Whereas, before the Internet, expectations of success in any field were supported by reasonable probabilities of achievement at the village, suburb, city or even state level, the same expectations in the Internet world are virtually certain to bring disappointment today: there is always someone else, somewhere on the planet, who can do better and take the now one-and-only top spot.[118]

Cybersectarianism is a new organizational form which involves: “highly dispersed small groups of practitioners that may remain largely anonymous within the larger social context and operate in relative secrecy, while still linked remotely to a larger network of believers who share a set of practices and texts, and often a common devotion to a particular leader. Overseas supporters provide funding and support; domestic practitioners distribute tracts, participate in acts of resistance, and share information on the internal situation with outsiders. Collectively, members and practitioners of such sects construct viable virtual communities of faith, exchanging personal testimonies and engaging in the collective study via email, on-line chat rooms, and web-based message boards.”[119] In particular, the British government has raised concerns about the prospect of young British Muslims being indoctrinated into Islamic extremism by material on the Internet, being persuaded to join terrorist groups such as the so-called “Islamic State“, and then potentially committing acts of terrorism on returning to Britain after fighting in Syria or Iraq.

Cyberslacking can become a drain on corporate resources; the average UK employee spent 57 minutes a day surfing the Web while at work, according to a 2003 study by Peninsula Business Services.[120] Internet addiction disorder is excessive computer use that interferes with daily life. Nicholas G. Carr believes that Internet use has other effects on individuals, for instance improving skills of scan-reading and interfering with the deep thinking that leads to true creativity.[121]

Electronic business

Electronic business (e-business) encompasses business processes spanning the entire value chain: purchasing, supply chain management, marketing, vendas, customer service, and business relationship. E-commerce seeks to add revenue streams using the Internet to build and enhance relationships with clients and partners. According International Data Corporation, the size of worldwide e-commerce, when global business-to-business and -consumer transactions are combined, equate to $16 trillion for 2013. A report by Oxford Economics added those two together to estimate the total size of the digital economy at $20.4 trillion, equivalent to roughly 13.8% of global sales.[122]

While much has been written of the economic advantages of Internet-enabled commerce, there is also evidence that some aspects of the Internet such as maps and location-aware services may serve to reinforce economic inequality and the digital divide.[123] Electronic commerce may be responsible for consolidation and the decline of mom-and-pop, brick and mortar businesses resulting in increases in income inequality.[124][125][126]

Autor Andrew Keen, a long-time critic of the social transformations caused by the Internet, has focused on the economic effects of consolidation from Internet businesses. Keen cites a 2013 Institute for Local Self-Reliance report saying brick-and-mortar retailers employ 47 people for every $10 million in sales while Amazon employs only 14. Similarly, the 700-employee room rental start-up Airbnb was valued at $10 billion in 2014, about half as much as Hilton Worldwide, which employs 152,000 people. At that time, transportation network company Uber employed 1,000 full-time employees and was valued at $18.2 billion, about the same valuation as Avis Rent a Car and The Hertz Corporation combined, which together employed almost 60,000 people.[127]


Telecommuting is the performance within a traditional worker and employer relationship when it is facilitated by tools such as groupware, virtual private networks, conference calling, videoconferencingand voice over IP (VOIP) so that work may be performed from any location, most conveniently the worker’s home. It can be efficient and useful for companies as it allows workers to communicate over long distances, saving significant amounts of travel time and cost. Como broadband Internet connections become commonplace, more workers have adequate bandwidth at home to use these tools to link their home to their corporate intranet and internal communication networks.

Collaborative publishing

Wikis have also been used in the academic community for sharing and dissemination of information across institutional and international boundaries.[128] In those settings, they have been found useful for collaboration on grant writing, strategic planning, departmental documentation, and committee work.[129] The United States Patent and Trademark Office uses a wiki to allow the public to collaborate on finding prior art relevant to examination of pending patent applications. Queens, New York has used a wiki to allow citizens to collaborate on the design and planning of a local park.[130] The English Wikipedia has the largest user base among wikis on the World Wide Web[131] and ranks in the top 10 among all Web sites in terms of traffic.[132]

Politics and political revolutions

Banner in Bangkok during the 2014 Thai coup d’état, informing the tailandês public that ‘like’ or ‘share’ activities on social media could result in imprisonment (observed June 30, 2014).

The Internet has achieved new relevance as a political tool. The presidential campaign of Howard Dean in 2004 in the United States was notable for its success in soliciting donation via the Internet. Many political groups use the Internet to achieve a new method of organizing for carrying out their mission, having given rise to Internet activism, most notably practiced by rebels in the Arab Spring.[133][134] O jornal New York Times suggested that social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, helped people organize the political revolutions in Egypt, by helping activists organize protests, communicate grievances, and disseminate information.[135]

Many have understood the Internet as an extension of the Habermasian notion of the public sphere, observing how network communication technologies provide something like a global civic forum. However, incidents of politically motivated Internet censorship have now been recorded in many countries, including western democracies.[[[[citation needed]


The spread of low-cost Internet access in developing countries has opened up new possibilities for peer-to-peer charities, which allow individuals to contribute small amounts to charitable projects for other individuals. Websites, such as DonorsChoose and GlobalGiving, allow small-scale donors to direct funds to individual projects of their choice. A popular twist on Internet-based philanthropy is the use of peer-to-peer lending for charitable purposes. Kiva pioneered this concept in 2005, offering the first web-based service to publish individual loan profiles for funding. Kiva raises funds for local intermediary microfinance organizations which post stories and updates on behalf of the borrowers. Lenders can contribute as little as $25 to loans of their choice, and receive their money back as borrowers repay. Kiva falls short of being a pure peer-to-peer charity, in that loans are disbursed before being funded by lenders and borrowers do not communicate with lenders themselves.[136][137]


Internet resources, hardware, and software components are the target of criminal or malicious attempts to gain unauthorized control to cause interruptions, commit fraud, engage in blackmail or access private information.


Malware is malicious software used and distributed via the Internet. It includes computer viruses which are copied with the help of humans, computer worms which copy themselves automatically, software for denial of service attacks, ransomware, botnetsand spyware that reports on the activity and typing of users. Usually, these activities constitute cybercrime. Defense theorists have also speculated about the possibilities of cyber warfare using similar methods on a large scale.[[[[citation needed]


The vast majority of computer surveillance involves the monitoring of dados and tráfego na internet.[138] In the United States for example, under the Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act, all phone calls and broadband Internet traffic (emails, web traffic, instant messaging, etc.) are required to be available for unimpeded real-time monitoring by Federal law enforcement agencies.[139][140][141] Packet capture is the monitoring of data traffic on a computer network. Computers communicate over the Internet by breaking up messages (emails, images, videos, web pages, files, etc.) into small chunks called “packets”, which are routed through a network of computers, until they reach their destination, where they are assembled back into a complete “message” again. Packet Capture Appliance intercepts these packets as they are traveling through the network, in order to examine their contents using other programs. A packet capture is an information gathering tool, but not an análise tool. That is it gathers “messages” but it does not analyze them and figure out what they mean. Other programs are needed to perform traffic analysis and sift through intercepted data looking for important/useful information. Debaixo de Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act all U.S. telecommunications providers are required to install packet sniffing technology to allow Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies to intercept all of their customers’ broadband Internet and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) traffic.[142]

The large amount of data gathered from packet capturing requires surveillance software that filters and reports relevant information, such as the use of certain words or phrases, the access of certain types of web sites, or communicating via email or chat with certain parties.[143] Agencies, such as the Information Awareness Office, NSA, GCHQ and the FBI, spend billions of dollars per year to develop, purchase, implement, and operate systems for interception and analysis of data.[144] Similar systems are operated by Iranian secret police to identify and suppress dissidents. The required hardware and software was allegedly installed by German Siemens AG and Finnish Nokia.[145]


Unclassified / No data

Some governments, such as those of Burma, Iran, North Korea, Mainland China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, restrict access to content on the Internet within their territories, especially to political and religious content, with domain name and keyword filters.[151]

In Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, major Internet service providers have voluntarily agreed to restrict access to sites listed by authorities. While this list of forbidden resources is supposed to contain only known child pornography sites, the content of the list is secret.[152] Many countries, including the United States, have enacted laws against the possession or distribution of certain material, such as child pornography, via the Internet, but do not mandate filter software. Many free or commercially available software programs, called content-control software are available to users to block offensive websites on individual computers or networks, in order to limit access by children to pornographic material or depiction of violence.


As the Internet is a heterogeneous network, the physical characteristics, including for example the data transfer rates of connections, vary widely. It exhibits emergent phenomena that depend on its large-scale organization.[153]

Traffic volume

The volume of Internet traffic is difficult to measure, because no single point of measurement exists in the multi-tiered, non-hierarchical topology. Traffic data may be estimated from the aggregate volume through the peering points of the Tier 1 network providers, but traffic that stays local in large provider networks may not be accounted for.


An Internet blackout or outage can be caused by local signalling interruptions. Disruptions of submarine communications cables may cause blackouts or slowdowns to large areas, such as in the 2008 submarine cable disruption. Less-developed countries are more vulnerable due to a small number of high-capacity links. Land cables are also vulnerable, as in 2011 when a woman digging for scrap metal severed most connectivity for the nation of Armenia.[154] Internet blackouts affecting almost entire countries can be achieved by governments as a form of Internet censorship, as in the blockage of the Internet in Egypt, whereby approximately 93%[155] of networks were without access in 2011 in an attempt to stop mobilization for anti-government protests.[156]

Energy use

Estimates of the Internet’s electricity usage have been the subject of controversy, according to a 2014 peer-reviewed research paper that found claims differing by a factor of 20,000 published in the literature during the preceding decade, ranging from 0.0064 kilowatt hours per gigabyte transferred (kWh/GB) to 136 kWh/GB.[157] The researchers attributed these discrepancies mainly to the year of reference (i.e. whether efficiency gains over time had been taken into account) and to whether “end devices such as personal computers and servers are included” in the analysis.[157]

In 2011, academic researchers estimated the overall energy used by the Internet to be between 170 and 307 GW, less than two percent of the energy used by humanity. This estimate included the energy needed to build, operate, and periodically replace the estimated 750 million laptops, a billion smart phones and 100 million servers worldwide as well as the energy that routers, cell towers, optical switches, Wi-Fi transmitters and cloud storage devices use when transmitting Internet traffic.[158][159] According to a non-peer reviewed study published in 2018 by The Shift Project (a French think tank funded by corporate sponsors), nearly 4% of global CO2 emissions could be attributed to global data transfer and the necessary infrastructure.[160] The study also said that online video streaming alone accounted for 60% of this data transfer and therefore contributed to over 300 million tons of CO2 emission per year, and argued for new “digital sobriety” regulations restricting the use and size of video files.[161]

See too


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Further reading

External links

Paula Fonseca