First that the Net began in 1984 driven by three important policy changes (not by the introduction of the MacIntosh as I would have guessed ;->). All of these policy changes are products of Republican actions according to Lessig (once a Republican himself).
- Packet switched networks with guarantied network neutrality. (as part of the AT&T break up).
- Manufacturing limited (or no) liability for copying in Sony vs Universal which gave us the Consumer Electronics industry.
- Release of experimental radio spectrum which gave us WiFi.
Note: Unmentioned by Lessig is the decidedly unRepublican but signal event of 1984 — Richard Stallman began work in GNU Emacs and the word “Copyleft” was coined. (Stallman writes “In 1984 or 1985, Don Hopkins (a very imaginative fellow) mailed me a letter. On the envelope he had written several amusing sayings, including this one: “Copyleft–all rights reversed.” I used the word “copyleft” to name the distribution concept I was developing at the time.”)