OGAS [...]

All-State Automated System, or OGAS, was a decentralized network, proposed in 1962, that was meant to connect all governing and economic activity in a way that looks very internet-like.

The full title of Glushkov’s plan – The All-State Automated System for the Gathering and Processing of Information for the Accounting, Planning and Governance of the National Economy, USSR – speaks for itself and its epic ambitions. First proposed in 1962, the All-State Automated System, or OGAS, was intended to become a real-time, remote-access national computer network built on preexisting and new telephony wires. In its most ambitious version, it would span most of the Eurasian continent, mapping itself like a nervous system onto every factory and enterprise in the planned economy. Its network was modelled hierarchically after the three-level pyramid structure of the state and economy: one central computer centre in Moscow would connect to as many as 200 mid-level computer centres in prominent cities, which would in turn link to as many as 20,000 computer terminals distributed across key production sites in the national economy.

Consonant with Glushkov’s greater life-work commitments, the network plans reflected a deliberately decentralised design. This meant that, while Moscow could specify who received which authorisations, any authorised user could contact any other user across the pyramid network – without direct permission from the mother node. Glushkov intimately understood the advantages of leveraging local knowledge in network designs, having spent so much of his career working on related mathematical problems while ferrying between his home and the central capital (he jokingly called the Kiev-Moscow train his ‘second home’). (Source)

 


OGAS followed on the heels of the Economic Automated Management System, another cybernetic dream.

InterNyet: why the Soviet Union did not build a nationwide computer network (Link)