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"Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet." -- President Obama

Actually, the government tried to keep companies from making money on the Internet, but gave up.
Kyle Maxwell's profile photoRick Troth's profile photoBrian Oxley's profile photoBen Bradley's profile photo
It was illegal to conduct commerce on the Internet at first. As for the Obama quote, it came from his "you didn't build that" speech.
And that change is, in part, what Vice President Gore meant when he said that he helped take the lead in creating the Internet, a statement later supported by Vint Cerf (who, as much as anybody, actually can be credited in part for the technical work that actually did).
Personal experience: the internet was in fact not for profit originally. Opening the doors to commerce happened about the same time as consumers were allowed access. The results have been mixed, more good than bad, but some misinformation from Obama and Gore. 
I think a lot of us in this thread were present and involved then. :)

To describe the opening of the Internet as mixed results, though, seems a bit like the inverse of hyperbole. While not totally unalloyed, the Internet has done far more good than bad overall.

And then-Senator Gore played a large role in the legislation and NSF rules changes that opened up access, IIRC. It has been a few decades and I've had a beer or two since then, so it's possible my memory is a little hazy on some of the details, admittedly.
Yes, calling the effect of the Internet "mixed" is true in a sense that is  not very useful. On that level we can claim mixed results for capitalism, democracy, science, firearms, and evolution.

The Internet has a huge impact, in the main highly positive. Overall we are better off on a massive scale. 

As to "the government tried to keep companies from making money on the Internet", that sounds a bit sideways. The original Internet was not built as a venue for commerce. Dollars meant to promote research should not underwrite commerce. It seems to me that responsible folk receiving money to support research should - and did - resist misuse of those dollars. Once the government rewrote the charter, that conflict was removed.
What happened to the Internet was created by BBN so military networks could survive nuclear assault?
Sorry I was vague.

The effect of commercialization is mixed, not the internet.  The consumerist focus has serious negative aspects.  I see few negative effects from the availability of the internet to consumers, but consumers have placed demands on the internet ... caused it to stretch and grow.  Like an athlete, the internet has suffered injury.

Look at email: The original design was in support of a bunch of engineers and researchers.  The system was developed to just get the stuff delivered.  Enter consumers, and spam is one result.

There is a core (mostly centered around the IETF, where Vint Cerf is a fixture) where good engineering still happens.  XMPP, IPv6, and DNSSEC are some recent developments.  Even HTTP is young compared to the internet itself.  Sadly, consumers only see HTTP (accurately, things which ride on it), and tasks which should be done via XMPP or SMTP (for example) are done via HTTP.  And it works, if only just "good enough".

To the extent that Sen Gore was part of the grand opening, I thank him.  And if Vint Cerf corroborates that, then I don't question it.  (The joke is when, correctly or otherwise, people cite him as saying he "invented" it.)
I feel the original quote is the mixed up one.
Spam and similar problems aren't solely the result of "enter consumers," but also the lack of educating newbies about Netiquette (acceptable online behavior), which had already been well established on Arpanet/Usenet and email mailing lists. I'd heard than in older days the first time a Usenet client was run it would come up with a page of things you should and shouldn't do to get along online. By the time I got to the Internet and Usenet (1995) AOL had already screwed the pooch by, among other things, making an interface to Usenet newsgroups and calling them "AOL Forums," resulting in what became known as Eternal September. The user-to-admin ratio was also much lower in the Arpanet days, and problems got handled quickly and effectively.
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