Mapping the pre -history of cyberspace and the making of social movement computer networks, 1973–1993
The Internet has a hidden history. It is revealed by application of social history and Cultural Studies theories of media technology development. Perspectives from resistance studies and the critical international political economy of communication must be applied to understanding Internet history. In this context there have been four precursor domains to the Internet of the twenty-first century: public/government; corporate; civil society; social movement. Public Cyberspace was evolved from cold war necessities and gifted to the commercial sector. Corporate Cyberspace evolved from access to public research and grew through the finance industry. Civil Society Cyberspace emerged from attempts to deliver public cyberspace to all taxpayers. Social Movement Cyberspace emerged from non-governmental organization attempts to use the medium for advocacy action.
In the case of Social Movement Cyberspace, there were two initial phases. Between 1981 and 1990 non-governmental organizations from North America, Western Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia implemented an international protocol called the Velletri Agreement and formed Interdoc as a vehicle fostering the first global Social Movement computer networks. In a second period between 1991 and 1993 groups from throughout the world of NGOs agreed to support a global network dedicated to activism, Association for Progressive Communications.