The Internet was originally developed by DARPA – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – as a means to share information on defense research between involved universities and defense research facilities.
Originally it was just email and FTP sites as well as the Usenet, where scientists could question and answer each other. It was originally called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork). The concept was developed starting in 1964, and the first messages passed were between UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute in 1969. Leonard Kleinrock of MIT had published the first paper on packet switching theory in 1961. Since networking computers was new to begin with, standards were being developed on the fly. Once the concept was proven, the organizations involved started to lay out some ground rules for standardization.
One of the most important was the communications protocol, TCP/IP, developed by Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn in 1974. Robert Metcalfe is credited with Ethernet, which is the basic communication standard in networked computers.
Tim Berners-Lee, who perhaps specified technological applicability and/or linguistic construction of HTML while working at CERN, is chiefly credited for the ease of use and wide public adoption of the web. His website is: w3.org.
Al Gore really did have a substantial part in the US legal framework and governmental issues related to the Internet; he never said he invented it.
There wasn’t just ONE person who invented the Internet. The Internet is just a way to view files and information that someone puts onto a server. The Internet is just a way to access the information.
Leonard Kleinrock was the first person to write a paper on the idea of packet switching (which is essential for the Internet to work. He wrote this idea in 1961.
Others who were essential to what we now call the Internet. (Without these guys, the Internet wouldn’t exist):
Larry G. Roberts created the first functioning long-distance computer networks in 1965 and designed the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the seed from which the modern Internet grew, in 1966.
Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf invented the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) which moves data on the modern Internet, in 1972 and 1973. If any two people “invented the Internet,” it was Kahn and Cerf – but they have publicily stated that “no one person or group of people” invented the Internet.
Radia Perlman invented the spanning tree algorithm in the 1980s. Her spanning tree algorithm allows efficient bridging between separate networks. Without a good bridging solution, large-scale networks like the Internet would be impractical.