The DARPA, or Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration, was founded as part of the U.S. reaction to the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik in 1957. DARPA was assigned to research how to utilize their investment in computers via Command and Control Research(CCR).
Chosen as the head of the CCR effort at DARPA was Dr. J.C.R. Licklider, previously from Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Boston, and before that from MIT. He lead the development of what was to become the Internet from 1962 onwards. In 1967 the DARPA was renamed ARPA(Advanced Research Projects Agency), and in December 1969 the Internet, then known as ARPANET, was brought online under a contract carried out by BBN which initially connected four major computers at universities in the southwestern US (UCLA, Stanford, UCSB, and the University of Utah).
The drafting and work procedures of the DARPA/ARPA led to the development of the RFC, or Request for Comment, research model in the early 1970s. It is safe to say that this model has done more to affect the very core of Internet culture and the vision of the Internet as a haven of free speech today.