In the early years of the 21st century, the world of the internet was very different from it is today.
Most of us had never seen a computer in person, and even when we did, we didn’t have access to one on our desktop.
In a small island nation of just 1.4 million people, the internet had never been more popular.
And it had become so.
“I had a little computer when I was a kid,” says the computer technician who started his own company in the late 1990s, and helped create the web’s first social network.
“It was a little machine that I got for Christmas.
It had an operating system that I couldn’t get to work on Christmas Eve.”
But even as the internet exploded and spread around the world, so did the problems that could arise if it wasn’t backed up.
“We were the first companies that built systems for backup,” says Andy Schmitt, co-founder of CloudFlare, a network of web servers that helps protect websites from hackers.
“Our service didn’t provide backup.”
It was a different era.
Back then, there were no central servers to keep track of everything that was going on in your life.
It was impossible to get a handle on your finances or your personal health because your bank account was frozen.
“That was the big challenge for people to understand,” says Schmitt.
“There were a lot of systems that were out there that were really hard to understand.”
In the 1990s the internet began to take off in the United States, and it was the biggest opportunity for companies to innovate.
As the internet spread, businesses were building online businesses that were used by millions of people, many of whom didn’t even have computers.
In the years leading up to the dot-com bubble, many companies were focusing on a very different business model: The online shopping and online banking services that had dominated the early 2000s.
But in the early days, these services weren’t always easy to use.
They didn’t always have the same level of security as on-premises web servers, and they didn’t offer the same ease of use that web browsers did.
The early internet had its share of bugs.
Some of these problems were easily fixed by adding new security features, but others took months or years to resolve.
“At the time, we had to have a team of engineers to fix these things, and I think we just didn’t,” says Tim Waddell, cofounder of the Internet Association.
“If we couldn’t fix these problems, we weren’t going to make money.”
Waddel founded his own consulting company, called Internet Security, which provided online security consulting to companies in the 2000s, but its work was only marginally profitable.
“For a long time, it was very hard to make a living on the internet,” he says.
“Now, it’s a very competitive market.”
As more companies moved online, there was a need for security engineers to figure out how to keep the internet safe from hackers and other malicious actors.
In 2004, a small company called FireEye was founded by former students of a military intelligence school.
FireEye is a cybersecurity company that provides data analysis services to law enforcement agencies.
In 2009, the company acquired a company called Symantec.
The new company became one of the most prominent security companies in America.
In 2010, Symantech acquired a much smaller security company called Kaspersky Lab, which is based in Moscow, Russia.
The combined companies now have more than 20,000 employees.
But it wasn.
By 2011, Kaspersker and Symantek had already been acquired by the NSA and other companies that were building spyware to help the government spy on their customers.
The NSA had a lot to lose.
The government wanted to know what data it could gather from an online service like Skype or Facebook, and the companies didn’t want to share this information with the government.
That’s when Symantepack joined forces with the FBI.
Symantack was a cybersecurity firm that was hired by the government to protect communications services like Facebook and Skype, which were heavily used by terrorists and spies.
SymAntech would work with the NSA to monitor the websites of its customers and protect their information from hackers, hackers would upload malicious code to the servers, hackers could steal the information, and hackers could install malware on the servers.
In 2011, SymAntec started to get some scrutiny from the government, because it was a small firm that had never actually worked for a government agency.
“The company was a bit of a novelty in terms of government scrutiny,” says Scott Richey, a professor of cybersecurity law at the University of Maryland.
“In a sense, SymAnxys security team was a product of the Obama administration.”
By 2013, the government was finally interested in SymAntes security team.
It hired Symantemps to monitor Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites.
The company also monitored