InterNyet: Why the Soviet Union Did Not Build a Nationwide Computer Network

Glerovitch, Slava. "InterNyet: Why the Soviet Union Did Not Build a Nationwide Computer Network." History and Technology 24:4 (December 2008): 335 - 350.

ABSTRACT: This article examines several Soviet initiatives to develop a national computer network as the technological basis for an automated information system for the management of the national economy in the 1960s-1970s. It explores the mechanism by which these proposals were circulated, debated, and revised in the maze of Party and government agencies. The article examines the role of different groups - cybernetics enthusiasts, mathematical economists, computer specialists, government bureaucrats, and liberal economists - in promoting, criticizing, and reshaping the concept of a national computer network. The author focuses on the political dimension of seemingly technical proposals, the relationship between information and power, and the transformative role of users of computer technology.