The internet started back in the 60s with only government researchers having access to share information that was stored on various computers. The internet (world wide web) for consumers was born January 1, 1983 and is considered the official birthday. Before this date, there were other computer networks with ways of communicating via TCP/IP.
The first documented person to become convicted by a jury of their peers was a graduate student from Cornell University named Robert Tappen Morris in 1988. Morris was convicted of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was an act established by congress in 1986 for sanctions against theft, unauthorized network access, and other computer-related crimes.