How Not to Network a Nation. The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet

(Ben Green) #1

Staging the OGAS, 1962 to 1969 141

all of which concerned the building of an OGAS-related wide-area infor-
mation network (note the second and fifth, in particular): (1) develop a
theory of optimal planning and management for a unified mathematical
model of national economy; (2) develop a unified system of economic
information; (3) standardize and algorithmize the planning and manage-
ment processes; (4) develop mathematical methods for solving economic
problems; (5) design and create a unified state network of computer centers;
and (6) derive a specialized planning and management system based on
mathematical methods and computer technology. Five years later, by 1969,
that number had been pared down to three concerned with optimizing
and modeling microeconomic problems. The network initiative had disap-
peared from its Moscow initiative.
In other words, by 1969, the year that the U.S. ARPANET went online,
CEMI was no longer actively pursuing any unified computer network proj-
ects. As a RAND analyst noted in 1971:

The most conspicuous feature of the latest version [of CEMI’s research directives] is
the absence of any reference to the unified state network of computer centers. Also
missing is the proposed system of economic information. The projects, representing

Figure 4.14
Nikolai Fedorenko, date unknown.
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