On May 24, 1844, a crowd gathered inside the United States Supreme Court chambers in the basement of the Capitol, eagerly awaiting a demonstration of an amazing new communication technology. They watched as inventor Samuel F.B. Morse successfully sent the first long-distance telegraph message — “What hath God wrought?” — to a railroad station near Baltimore. While earlier demonstrations of the device had successfully sent messages between the House and Senate chambers, long-distance transmission was still an open question.
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.