A timely Internet (and overall technology/society) reality check (including a book excerpt)
"On the public's feelings about government involvement in computer development in the '40s and '50sInterview: Walter Isaacson, Author Of ' The Innovators' : All Tech Considered : NPR
[Like today], a lot of people believed it was sinister back then. ... This is of course when George Orwell's 1984 is coming out. It was published in 1948 and people thought that computers would lead to Big Brother-like government. But the people who were developing both the Internet and then the personal computer realized that you had to make it personal — you had to give access and power to each of the individuals and that would help the system from becoming Orwellian."