I recall reading in a few novels and manuals about a thing called the "Vegan Tyrany". It was apparently some sort of interstellar empire that ran the space around Earth before the Federation was founded. In a novelization version of "Tomorrow is Yesterday", there is a scene where a discussion is held that the Enterprise can't leave Earth in the 20th century because it would run into the Vegan Tyrany which controlled all of the surrounding space.
A background note on this would be pretty neat if anyone can give some hard core sources. Its non-canon, so it cant go into main part of the article but I do recall reading it in about 4 or 5 different places. -FC 18:59, 13 February 2009 (UTC)